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Karen C. S. Donnelly 


The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation 

Presented to the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania 
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of 




Adjiinct Associate Professor 
atifon. Advisor 

I^^.,v■^ vix t \ y .Tyjr 

Samuel Y. Harris, Adjunct Associate Professor 
Historic Preservation, Reader 

ivj/d G. De Longr 
Graduate Group Chairman 

f Architecture 



OiC^ I T-,' .v.,-^ 





Chapter 1: ANTECEDENTS 4 

Social and Historical Context 

Telegraph Technology 

Chapter 2: PATENT ANALYSIS 17 

Development of the Domestic Burglar Alarm 
Tel egraph 

Development of Central Station Alarms 

Chapter 3: CASE STUDIES 66 

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, 

Bowne House, Flushing, New York 

John Eraser House, Riverton, New Jersey 

Beechwood, Newport, Rhode Island 

Armour-Stiner (Octagon) House, Irvington- 
On-Hudson, New York 

Maish House, Des Moines, Iowa 

Wilderstein, Rhinebeck, New York 

Chapter 4: CONCLUSIONS 106 


NOTES 275 



Figure Page 

1. Cells Linked to Form a Battery 11 

2. Producing Mechanical Motion with an Electromagnet 13 

3. Electrical Schematic, Open Circuit Alarm System . 22 

4. Operation of Bell with Spring Circuit Breaker . . 23 

5. Edwin Holmes 25 

6. Portable Model of Telegraph House Alarm .... 27 

7. Switch Annunciator 28 

8. Switch Annunciator; 12 and 15 Knob Varieties . . 29 

9. Bell Apparatus: Holmes Burglar Alarm Telegraph . 31 

10. Holmes City Directory Listings, 1867 - 1900 ... 32 

11. Wires Exiting Annunciator Panel 34 

12. Wires Led Behind Window Molding 35 

13. Regularity of Floor-Embedded Wires 35 

14. Floor Groover 36 

15. Door Contact or Key, 1853 37 

16. Window Contact or Key, 1853 38 

17. Visible Portion of Door Contact (Dotting) .... 39 

18. Dotting Contact 40 

19. Window Plate-Type Contact 41 

20. Window Design Restricts Visibility 42 

21. Completing the Window Circuit 44 


Figure Page 

22. Battery Box 44 

23. Electrical Schematic, Two Zone System with Clock 

Circuit Breaker 47 

24. Annunciator Chronology, 1853 - 1897 50 

25. Western Electric Needle Annunciators 52 

26. Door Contact Chronology, 1853 - 1927 55 

27. Window Contact Chronology, 1853 - 1927 56 

28. Western Electric Window Contacts: Single and 

Double Versions 58 

29. ADT Signal Boxes 62 

30. Holmes Electric Protective's Electric-Lined 

Cabinet 63 

31. Holmes Central Station Roof Fixture for Wires . . 65 
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum 

32. Exterior 69 

33. Elm Park, South Norwalk, Conn., Grounds Plan . . 70 

34. Remnants Survey, First and Second Floor Plans . . 73 

35. Main Annunciator and Bell Station 75 

36. Servants Quarters Annunciator, Shelf and Support- 

ing Bracket 76 

37. Zoning Control Knob and Ghost Image of Annuncia- 

tor Shelf 77 

38. Floor Carved Roman Numerals 79 

Bowne House 

39. Exterior 81 

40. Remnants Survey, Floor Plans 82 

41. Floor Wiring 83 



John Fraser House 

42. Exterior 



43. Evidence of Floor Wiring in Window Seat 88 


44. Exterior 90 

Armour-Stiner Octagon House 

45. Exterior 93 

46. Remnants Survey, Basement and First Floor Plans . 96 

47. Window Contact Switch 97 


48. Exterior 101 


Appendix Page 

A: Holmes Controlled U.S. Patents, 1853 - 1893 . . , 108 

B: U.S. Patent 9,802: Augustus Pope, Electro-Magnetic 

Alarms, June 21, 1853 110 

C: U.K. Patent 1,795: Augustus Pope, Electro-Magnetic 

Alarum, August 1, 1853 114 

D: U.S. Patent 8,920: Moses Farmer, Electro-Magnetic 

Alarm-Bells, May 4, 1852 122 

E: Reissue 566 - U.S. Patent 9,802: Augustus R. Pope, 

Electro-Magnetic Alarms, June 8, 1858 126 

F: A Treatise Upon the Best Method of Protecting 
Property from Burglars , and Human Life from 
Midnight Assassins (1861) 130 

G: Your Attention is Respectful ly Reguested to the 

Following Testimonials . (1868) 164 

H: U.S. Patent 63,158: Edwin Holmes, Electric Circuit 

Breaking Clocks, March 26, 1867 198 

I: U.S. Patent 20,970: William Whiting, Electro- 
Magnetic House-Alarm, July 20, 1858 201 

J: U.S. Patent 118,231: Elisha Gray, Electro-Magnetic 

Annunciators, August 22, 1871 207 

K: Western Electric Annunciator Patents 211 

Reissue 6825 - U.S. Patent 118,231: Elisha Gray 
Electro-Magnetic Annunciators, Dec. 28, 1875 

U.S. Patent 162,057: E Gray, Electric Annuncia- 
tors, April 13, 1875 

U.S. Patent 114,007: Edward Hill, Hotel-Annun- 
ciator and Fire-Alarms, April 25, 1871 

Design 8,999: Charles Lewis, Annunciator Dials, 
February 15, 1876 

U.S. Patent 176,784: E. Hill, Electric Annunci- 
ators and Fire-Alarm Conductors, May 2, 1876 

Appendix Page 

L: Western Electric Mfg. Co., Hotel Annunciator and 

Burglar Alarm subscriber list, 1877 225 

M: U.S. Patent 123,808: Charles E. Chinnock Assignor 
to Edwin Holmes, Electro-Magnetic Annunciators, 
February 20, 1872 227 

N: Holmes' Improved Burglar Alarm Telegraph, circular 

Distributed by T.E. Cornish, Phila. [c. 1872] . 232 

O: Reissue - 6,599 U. S. Patent 20,970: William 
Whiting, Assignor to Edwin T. Holmes, Electro- 
Magnetic House-Alarm, August 17, 1875 234 

P: U.S. Patent 120,744: Edwin Holmes & Henry C Roome, 
Circuit-Closers for Electrical Burglar-Alarms 
and Signals, November 7, 1871 243 

Q: U.S. Patent 120,875: Edwin Holmes & Henry C Roome, 
Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Burglar-Proof 
Curtains, November 14, 1871 247 

R: Office of the Electro-Magnetic Fire and Burglar 
Alarm Telegraph, circular. George E. Cock and 
J.H. Guest, 1872 250 

S: U.S. Patent 79,973: John Guest, Electro-Magnetic 

Burglar and Fire Alarm, July 14, 1868 .... 252 

T: U.S. Patent 118,199: George Guest and John Cock, 

Electro-Magnetic Burglar Alarms, August 22, 1871 256 

U: U.S. Patent 110,362: Edwin Holmes & Henry C Roome, 
Electro-Magnetic Envelopes for Safes, Vaults, 
&c., December 20, 1870 259 

V: Patent 120,874: Edwin Holmes & Henry Roome, Elec- 
tric Lining for Safes, November 14, 1871 . . . 263 

W: Holmes Central Office Protection subscribers 1872- 

73-74 266 

X: Lockwood Children 267 

Y: Annunciator Label Comparisons, Lockwood-Mathews . 268 
Z: The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm 269 


In the past, when preservationists were faced with 
restoring or interpreting the interiors of historic American 
buildings, the finishings and furnishing were of primary 
concern. More recently, there has been a move toward de- 
veloping a complete picture by studying all aspects of 
material culture. Understanding construction technologies 
and building systems now plays an important role in docu- 
mentation and interpretative plans. -^ In addition to offering 
a more accurate representation of an interior, the study of 
domestic technologies can shed new light on cultural atti- 
tudes and values. Despite the emerging trend of considering 
mechanical and electrical systems such as lighting, plumb- 
ing, and heating - the examination of domestic security 
measures remains completely neglected. 

Concern for personal safety and protection of property 
is widespread today, yet, this security consciousness is not 
a new phenomena. Historically, protection of property was 
provided by the use of watchmen, dogs, fences, or locks, 
among other things. Each of these, however, were subject to 
problems. Locks and fences, although valuable deterrents, 
could be breached; and watchmen, then as now, are subject to 

human failings which prevented the proper performance of 
their duties. Also, because of the expense watchmen were 
not widely used. 

During the nineteenth century the population in Ameri- 
can urban centers was growing rapidly. The first preventa- 
tive police forces were organized in an attempt to deal with 
the problems of crime and security on a public level. 
However, the variety of security options available for the 
protection of an individual residence remained limited. The 
introduction of an alarm sounding apparatus automatically to 
detect and to announce an undesired event marked the begin- 
ning of modern security systems. 

Midway through the nineteenth century security was 
electrified. By adapting the recently developed telegraph 
technology, electricity entered the home in the form of a 
local burglar alarm. The first burglar alarm to make use of 
these technologies was patented by the Reverend Augustus 
Russell Pope (1819-1858) of Somerville, Massachusetts, in 
1853. In 1858, this patent was purchased by Edwin Holmes 
(1820-1901) who began distributing the system in the New 
York City area. Holmes's Burglar Alarm Telegraph Company 
had, by 1868, over 1200 subscribers. Shortly thereafter a 
variety of other alarm companies began to market competing 
systems . 

This paper will discuss the origins and early develop- 
ment of domestic electric security systems. The alarms of 

the Holmes company, in use prior to 1876, will be the pri- 
mary focus of this investigation. Competing companies will 
be identified, and, where possible, comparisons between the 
products will be made. 

In order to understand the development of early bur- 
glar alarm systems, research using a variety of primary 
sources was undertaken. These included the examination of 
patents, trade catalogs, business credit files, and extant 
system remnants. 


Social and Historical Context 

Security is defined, in part, as the condition of 

being protected from or not exposed to danger; or something 

that gives or assures safety, tranquility or certainty. 

Absolute protection is not possible. However, environments 
can be altered so that harm or loss is less likely. Gener- 
ally there are two broad categories of security; depending 
upon the source from which the service originates -- public 
or private. Public law enforcement -- such as police agen- 
cies, jails and courts -- are community based. These afford 
benefits to the individual but in themselves do not assure 
security. Consequently, the need for private security 
exists, and this is broadly defined as all measures under- 
taken by individuals or businesses that are intended to give 

protection to persons or property. 

For centuries, the lock was the standard method of 
private security. Exactly when and where locks were invent- 
ed is not known. However, by about 2000 B.C. the Egyptians 
and others were using wooden mechanical locks. Since then. 

numerous improvements in form and materials have been made, 
and today, locks continue to play a vital role.^ 

In the colonial era, methods of public security 
continued English and European traditions. The constabulary 
and marshals, who guarded the cities during the day, carried 
the burden of law enforcement. Constables directed the "hue 
and cry" to take into custody criminals and other disorderly 
persons, and they were responsible for enforcing local 
ordinances. In all these duties, the constabulary oversaw 
and was supplemented by the watch. Male residents were 
required to serve regular turns as watchmen, patrolling from 
dusk until dawn. The purpose of the watch was to guard the 
town by limiting noisy drinking, dancing, and other forms of 
unacceptable behavior. Watchmen were also charged to be on 
the lookout for fires. Despite the limited scope of these 
tasks, watchmen were ineffective -- they often reported for 
work intoxicated, slept on duty, or refused to make their 


rounds . 

This unprofessional behavior, which in the colonial 
city had been tolerated, quickly became unacceptable after 
1800. In the early decades of the nineteenth century riots 
and civil disturbances shattered the tranquility of many 
major cities. Industrialization and urbanization were taking 
place concurrently. The growth in geographic size and popu- 
lations of cities was unparalleled. The substantial in- 

creases in the resident population was compounded, beginning 


in the 1820s, by a period of mass immigration. 

The number of homes and businesses worth plundering 
increased dramatically. Industrialization resulted in more 
specialized use of land. This trend, together with urban 
growth caused spatial changes in the organization of persons 
and activities within the city. The wealthy had, in the 
preindustrial society, occupied the most central locations 
of the city. Deterioration of these once fashionable areas 
-- together with the advent of mass-transit -- changed the 
class distribution. Affluent residents began moving to the 
periphery, out of the urban centers. 

The changes wrought by urbanization presented opportu- 
nity for criminals and compounded the problem of controlling 
them. In 1789 New York had 33,000 inhabitants and was pro- 
tected by only 32 night watchmen and fewer daytime consta- 
bles and marshals. By 1843, the population was estimated at 
350,000 permanent residents and 50,000 transients. The city 
employed 34 constables, 100 marshals, and 1,012 watchmen to 
serve this tremendously increased population. Although 
crime and disorder were not new, there was a change in 
perception of these issues between 1800 and 1860. David R. 
Johnson points out that "during the first three decades of 
the century, criminal behavior increasingly seemed to dis- 
turb the prevailing tranquility of urban society; in the 

next three decades, many people became convinced that crime 
was about to undermine their society.' 

Preventing crime had different meanings to different 
people. The three major categories of crime which communi- 
ty leaders wanted controlled were: professional theft, 
street crime, and illegal or immoral enterprise (drinking, 
gambling and prostitution). Various theories on how to 
encourage proper behavior and social order resulted in 
different proposals. Some critics advocated temperance, 
others thought the answer was education, either through the 
introduction of a viable and broad-based public school 
system, or through houses of refuge that would address 
offenders one at a time. All of these proposals required a 
long-term commitment to the reformation of people who dis- 
played socially unacceptable or criminal behavior. 

In the interim, the basic problem of controlling crime 
remained. Many citizens advocated a more immediate solu- 
tion: an overhaul of policing practices. They proposed that 
cities adopt the idea of crime prevention, a theory which 
"emphasized centralized direction of a large body of men 
whose collective efforts to suppress crime depended upon 
their ability to establish a pervasive, visible presence in 
all areas of a city at all hours of the day or night." 
Slowly gathering support over several decades, the advocates 
of crime prevention finally succeeded in supplanting the 
outmoded watch and constabulary. New York, in 1844, was 

the first city to establish a public police force. ■'■■^ Over 
the next several years police departments staffed with paid, 
full-time officers capable of handling the complexities of 
the evolving urban society emerged in most major American 
cities . 

The preventative approach to policing curtailed gang 
activity and reduced street crime. Nonetheless, while 
progress in these areas was certainly commendable, preventa- 
tive policing did not adequately confront the particularly 
sensitive issue of crimes against property. While a visible 
police force might act as a deterrent to the "house- 
breaker," "sneak thief," or "second story climber," it did 
little to curtail the activities of those who occupied the 
pinnacle in the criminal social hierarchy -- the night 
raider or professional burgl ar . "'■'^ In fact, Johnson remarks, 
"during the 1850s property crimes not only continued; they 
spread geographically as cities expanded, and they appeared 
to increase in number." 

The development of a comparatively anonymous and 
complex urban society was a benefit to the professional 
thief whose methods and tools had become more sophisticated. 
The thief had the upper hand in the ancient contest between 
those who stole and property owners. Given time and secrecy 
the burglar was generally successful in his desired goal. 
Consequently, the introduction of a reliable device which 
automatically detected and announced a break-in and alerted 

the would-be-thief that his actions were discovered could 
make a significant contribution to domestic security. 

Mechanically operated burglar alarm systems had been 
introduced in England in the early 1700s. These pull-wire 
alarms mechanically linked a set of chimes to a door or 
vault lock. Reportedly, a bank in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 
was the first application of a mechanical alarm system in an 
American building. A wire from the vault door ran under- 
ground to a set of bells located in the cashier's home next 
door. Although mechanical alarm systems certainly could have 
been installed in a domestic setting, no references to, or 
evidence of residential American applications have been 
discovered. Regardless, these systems could not have been 
particularly effective. Cutting the wire which connected 
the chime or bell to the lock or vault was, for the burglar, 
a simple method to circumvent these pull-wire systems. -^^ 
Wealthy property owners needed a more effective method to 
protect themselves from illusive skillful professional 
thieves. A new concept of protection, which overcame the 
limits inherent from relying on man or his mechanical sys- 
tems was necessary. 

Tel eqraph Technology 
The telegraph, which was both the first practical and 
commercial application of electricity and magnetism only 
became possible after these forces were understood and 

controlled. This harnessing of electricity as a long dis- 
tance messenger was also the crucial innovation in the 
development of alarm technology. An understanding of basic 
telegraph components is therefore essential. 

Although electricity was known for many centuries, it 
was not until the closing decades of the eighteenth century 
that man learned how to produce steady currents of electric- 
ity by chemical means. Building on the experiments of Luigi 
Galvani (1737-1798), Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), produced 
the first true source of continuous electricity -- the 
electric cell -- in 1801. A battery was created by link- 
ing two or more cells. These cells consisted of plates of 
dissimilar metals -- generally zinc and copper or zinc and 
silver -- brought together in a conducting solution such as 
a weak acid. When the upper ends of the metal plates were 
connected by a wire, a current of electricity passed from 
the copper to the zinc through the connecting wire, and from 
the zinc to the copper through the liquid. Current flows 
continuously until the battery is exhausted, unless the wire 
is disconnected, or the circuit is broken, in which case, 

the current immediately ceases; but instantly resumes when- 

1 ft 
ever the connection is remade. (Figure 1) 

Practically all early batteries were constructed of 

the same simple elements. These one-fluid galvanic cells in 

which both electrodes were immersed in the same fluid could 

produce an electric current; but because they were subject 



Figure 1: Cells linked to form a battery. Reprinted from Frank L. 
Pope, Modem Practice of the Electric Telegraph (New York, 1869), 11. 

to the defect of polarization, it was impossible to draw a 
large current from a battery for more than a few seconds 
before its power was seriously impaired. Preventing polar- 
ization would, therefore, finally render a constant current, 
enabling the cell to maintain the same strength for a long 
time . 

The difficulty of polarization was finally overcome in 
1836 when J.F. Daniell, an English electrician, invented the 
cell which bears his name. The Daniell Cell was the first of 
the so-called constant batteries which employed two liquids 
instead of one: one in contact with the zinc, and one with 
the copper plate. These batteries were not inexhaustible; 
power would diminish if the circuit was kept closed for long 
periods of time. However, these cells were more steady than 
those previously available and could be rejuvenated. 


The second step towards advancing electricity to the 
status of a major social force was the discovery of electro- 
magnetic induction. Progress was rapid once scientists had 
a readily available source of electricity. In 1819, Danish 
scientist Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851) discovered that 
there was a direct relationship between electricity and 
magnetism; he observed that a compass needle would move when 
brought near a wire in which an electric current was flow- 
ing. William Sturgeon (1782-1850) of England is generally 
credited with construction of the first electromagnet in 
1825. This device successfully converted electrical energy 
into energy in the form of mechanical motion. 

An electromagnet is produced by enclosing a soft iron 
bar within a spiral coil of insulated copper wire through 
which an electric current is transmitted. When a current of 
electricity is passed through the coil of wire, the iron 
bar within becomes, temporarily, powerfully magnetic. The 
bar will remain magnetic as long as the current continues to 
flow, and will exert its force on another bar of iron which 
is called the armature. The process by which the electromag- 
net converts electricity into mechanical motion is repre- 
sented in Figure 2. The key is raised so no current is 
passing to the coil, and the bar is not a magnet. However, 
^when the key is depressed the current from the battery, 
circulates through the coil; the core becomes a magnet, and 
attracts its armature as indicated by the dotted lines. If 


JElccTrci S)I(frf/rrl 

Figure 2: Producing mechanical motion with an el ectronragnet . Reprinted 
fron. Park Benjamin, The Age of Electricity (New York, 1888), 81. 

the circuit is broken, the armature, no longer attracted, 

2 1 
will be drawn back by the spring. 

These two discoveries -- the battery and the electro- 
magnet -- are the foundation stones of the system of teleg- 
raphy which was to develop. By 1837, several inventors used 
these discoveries and applied them to the development of a 
practical and successful telegraph. Telegraphs transmit 
information by producing intelligible signals, consisting of 
a succession of instantaneous electrical impulses. These 
signals are, by previous arrangement, intended to indicate 
the letters of the alphabet. Because Morse's system became 
preeminent, he is often incorrectly credited as being the 
sole developer of telegraph technology. 

In its simplest form, a telegraphic circuit consists 
of a contact or sending device [or key] that makes and 


breaks the connection between a current source [or battery] 
and the line which carries (or conducts) the current. The 
pulses of current pass to the distant end of the line and 
activate the receiving device [or sounder] by causing its 
electromagnet to attract or release its armature so that it 
makes a clicking noise. In Morse's apparatus, the armature 
of the electromagnet on the receiving device was attached to 
a lever carrying a steel point which embossed a mark upon a 
paper strip moved along by clock-work. The duration of the 
current, and consequently the length of the noise or the 
mark was regulated by making the period of contact by the 
key short or long. Whether signals were audible or visual, 
the armature at the receiving end of the line copied the 
movement of the key at the sending end. 

Telegraphs can start with either an open circuit or 
closed circuit. If an open circuit is chosen, during the 
idle condition, no current flows in the line. Every time the 
key is moved into contact with the opposite part of the 
wire, the current passes; therefore the battery is engaged 
only when a message is being sent. In the other, or 
closed-loop system, current travels continuously in the 
line. Interrupting the current by moving the key out of 
contact with the line will produce a mimicking action on the 
receiver . 

The first commercial telegraph line in America became 
operational in 1844 between Baltimore, MD , and Washington, 


D.C. -- a forty-four mile distance. Following this success- 
ful installation, the telegraph was rapidly adopted as a 
means of communication. In addition to linking distant 
communities, the telegraph could be used on a municipal 
level -- to communicate specific concerns within a city or 
town. As early as 1839, William F. Channing (1820 - 1901) 
conceived the notion of using telegraphy to transmit fire 
alarms. During the 1840s he promoted this idea to the 
public. In several published articles he urged the City of 
Boston to construct a central station fire alarm system. •'-^ 
The previous prevailing fire alarm technique of using watch- 
men in towers to detect and church bells to announce fires 
was time consuming and failed to assist firefighters in 
locating the blaze -- a major concern in any fair sized 
city. Channing proposed that the City be divided into 
districts and that signal boxes connected by telegraph to a 
central station be placed throughout each district. The 
unique signal from each box would allow the monitoring staff 
at the central station to determine the specific district 
and box from which the alarm originated. Then an electric 
impulse would be transmitted from the central station to 
cause the appropriate district bells to be rung indicating 
an alarm. Additionally, the central office could communi- 
cate the number of the box within the district from which 
the alarm originated and thereby quickly direct the engines 


to the part of the district where the fire was located. 
Because it took Boston until 1851 to act on Channing's 
suggestion. New York, became the first city to enact an 
ordinance to change from a mechanical to an electric fire 
alarm system in 1847. However, the system introduced in New 
York was much less sophisticated than that proposed by 
Channing . ^^ 

Even as the fire alarm system was being perfected in 
the early 1850s, others saw additional potential for elec- 
tricity. Not only did it signal an alarm, but it could, 
without human intervention, detect the emergency that 
caused need for the alarm. Electricity was able effectively 
and automatically to carry intelligible messages and at the 
same time make all mechanical bell and chime based alarm 
systems obsolete. 



In an attempt to document and establish a framework 
for illustrating how electric burglar alarm technology 
[developed over time, United States patent documents were 
searched to identify the primary patents. While this search 
attempted to be thorough, it almost certainly did not iden- 
tify every relevant patent. The alphabetical section of the 
Subject -Matter Index of Patents for Inventions Issued by the 
United States Patent Office from 1790-1873 , Inclusive , lists 
the principals. Pope or Holmes, only nine times. After 
1873, the patent office began issuing yearly rather than 
cumulative indexes. Here, Holmes appears as recipient or 
assignee of a patent an additional twelve times before 
1900. Appendix A lists the twenty-one patents issued be- 
tween 1853 and 1893 with which Holmes was known to be asso- 
ciated. Only nine of these patents (appearing in italics) 
are directly related to the burglar alarm. Because patents 
were not identified for several major components of, or 
improvements to the system, it is suspected that Holmes 
owned more than these few patents. Attempts to identify 
additional Holmes controlled patents were unsuccessful. 


Therefore, information provided by trade literature or 
supported by extant remains has been used to bridge gaps to 
produce a development chain or chronology for this unex- 
plored aspect of America's technological heritage. ^^ 

Development of the Domestic 
Burglar Alarm Telegraph 

Little is known about the early life of Augustus 
Russell Pope. Born January 25, 1819, in Boston, and educated 
at Harvard (Class of 1839; and Divinity, 1842) Pope moved 
from Kingston, Rhode Island, to Somerville, Massachusetts, 
where he was installed as the second pastor of the First 
Congregational [Unitarian] Society on November 25, 1849. He 
remained in this position until his death, on May 24, 1858. 
According to one account. Pope was a man of "great energy, 
rare talent, and more than ordinary ability. These quali- 
ties, combined with noble sympathies and heartfelt aspira- 
tions for human welfare, led him to engage in every good 
work designed to promote the well being of his fellow men. 
He entered with ardor into his parochial duties, and by his 
kindly interest won the cordial esteem of his parishioners." 
Also, it is known that "scientific investigations and the 
rural and mechanic arts engaged a large share of his atten- 
tion. "^^ 

In October of 1850, Pope drew his first plan for an 
1 ectromagnetic burglar alarm. Two successful models were 
de and he subsequently applied the apparatus to his own 



home in Somerville. His son Lemuel recalled, "when not 
employed in his pastoral duties he was occupied in experi- 
menting with his invention in order to make it 
successful . "^^ On October 27, 1852, Pope filed a patent 
application for an "Improved Magnetic Alarm" and on June 21, 
1853, was granted patent 9,802.^^ (Appendix B) 

An electromagnetic bell device had been previously 
patented for use in fire alarm systems, however, Pope's was 

the first application of the new telegraph technology adapt- 

9 9 
ed for use as a burglar alarm. Although it is unlikely 

that Pope's exact catalyst will ever be known, it is diffi- 
cult to imagine that he developed his system in total isola- 
tion. Somerville was located just two miles from Boston, 
which at the time was the major American center for tele- 
graphic manufacturing. Also, as the nation s premiere 
scientific center, Boston led in making all manner of scien- 
tific apparatus and "had plenty of skilled artisans, inven- 
tors, electricians, machinists, engineers -- the technologi- 
cal elite of the nation in residence. Pope, whether 
prior to, or as a result of his endeavors, knew two of the 
most prominent figures. First, Moses Gerrish Farmer (1820- 

1893), a telegraph inventor who originally met Pope in 1851 

3 2 
or 1852 and claimed to know him very well. Farmer invented 

many of the components of the fire alarm system installed by 

William F. Channing in Boston and was, until 1853, superin- 

3 3 
tendent of that system. The second figure was Charles 


Williams, Jr. (? - 1908) of Hinds and Williams, (later 
succeeded by Charles Williams, Jr.), a telegraph manufactur- 
er who first became acquainted with Pope between 1848 and 
1850.^'* The workshop of Charles Williams, Jr., where Pope 
came for production of his alarm apparatus, was a place 
where electrical inventors congregated. One of only a 
handful of similar concerns in the country, this shop em- 
ployed about twenty-five men and occupied the third floor 
and attic of a building at 109 Court Street in Boston. This 
manufacturing shop served as a place where inventors could 
study telegraph technology and have their designs for elec- 
trical instruments and apparatus made to order. "^^ At that 
time Williams's and the other small mechanical shops consti- 
tuted the entire electrical industry of the United States. 
It is therefore likely that Pope's association with both 
Farmer and Williams during his development period favorably 
influenced the system he eventually patented. 

Pope's magnetic alarm was "to be applied to either a 
door or a window, or both, of a dwelling-house or other 
building, for the purpose of giving alarm in case of bur- 
glarious or other attempts to enter the same through said 
door or window." Although, operated on the same principle, 
and by the same power, that operated the communication and 
fire alarm telegraphs, this system was different in terms of 
human involvement. For the first time the burglar alarm 


telegraph automatically registered an event in addition to 
announcing it . 

Pope chose to employ an open circuit system. (Figure 
3) The circuit consisted of contact switches [equivalent to 
the telegraph key] applied to each door and window, these 
were connected by concealed wires [the line], charged from a 
battery [the power source], that led to an electromagnetic 
alarm bell with a spring circuit breaker [the receiver]. In 
this arrangement the battery was connected to the bell only 
when door or window movement closed and completed the nor- 
mally open circuit. The advantage of the open circuit plan 
is that when not in use the battery is not required to 
supply current to the line. This meant there was no con- 
stant drain on the battery, which was only capable of sup- 
plying limited power. The downside in an open circuit ar- 
rangement -- a break in the line or malfunctioning contact 
switch was relatively undetectable. 

The most important feature of the system was its 
electric bell. Here the electromagnet rather than signaling 
audible or visual dots and dashes was used to activate a 
loud alarm bell. (Figure 4) The hammer of the bell is 
attached at one end to the armature of the electromagnet. 
Between the other end of the armature and the electromagnet 
is a spring circuit breaker which is connected to one of the 
battery wires and is in contact with the second battery 
wire. Opening a window or door completes the battery 


v \ 


























"? S>WiTCH 



Figure 3: Electrical schematic, open circuit alarm system. Drawing by 
Herbert M. Schoen 

circuit. As soon as this takes place -- current flows -- the 
magnet becomes charged and draws the armature towards it, 
causing the hammer to strike the bell. During the movement 
of the armature towards the magnet, it throws or moves the 
circuit breaker out of contact with the second battery wire. 
This breaks the circuit, demagnetizing the magnet and allow- 
ing the armature to fall back so that the circuit-breaker 
again comes in contact with the second battery wire. The 

contacts close again, and the cycle repeats itself for as 

long as the window is open. 

After Pope was granted his patent he set about market- 
ing the system. He installed the device into several houses 
in Somerville, some without charge, so that it might be 
tested and its merits made known to the community. He 


Figure 4: Operation of bell with spring circuit breaker. 
Adapted from patent no. 9,802. Drawing by Herbert M. Schoen 

advertised in several newspapers, put a traveling salesman 
into the field, and, in 1856, he exhibited his new system at 
the Fair of the Mechanics Charitable Association of Boston 
where he received a diploma and a silver medal. Although he 
installed the system in a large boot and shoe factory near 
Boston, commercial success eluded him. Pope's "duties as a 
Clergyman would not permit him to do more, and being very 
much out of health he found it necessary to dispose of his 
patent." For the rights to his patent he received $1800 in 
cash and $8,000 in notes. ^^ The purchaser was Edwin Holmes 
who would go on to pioneer the electric burglar alarm indus- 


This transfer of patent rights was not, as expected, 
recorded in the patent assignment digest. Although Holmes 
reportedly met Pope in 1857, the transfer was probably 
executed in early May, 1858. On May 6, 1858, just weeks 

before his death [on May 24] Pope had applied for his 

3 9 
patent to be reissued. He believed the original patent to 

be, "inoperative and invalid by reason of a defective speci- 
fication and claim, which defect has arisen from inadvert- 
ence and mistake." The defect to which Pope refers was the 
use of the word elastic to refer to a circuit rather than 
the intended use of the word electric. Obviously, a poten- 
tial purchaser of the patent would wish to have any errors 
corrected in conjunction with a transfer. The patent 
office granted the request and reissue 566, dated June 8, 
1858, revised the patent's underlying text. (Appendix E) 

Holmes, who had been born in West Boylston, Massachu- 
setts, in 1820, had moved to Boston in 1849 and opened a 
notions store with his brother John "selling thread, nee- 
dles, thimbles and other sewing paraphernalia." (Figure 5) 
Their shop was located at 17 Tremont Row close to the elec- 
trical shop of Hinds and Williams. After acquiring the Pope 
patent rights. Holmes relocated his family and new business 
from Boston to New York. According to his son, Holmes felt 
"that all the burglars there were in the country were in New 
York."^ Holmes, like Pope before him, and most telegraph 
inventors of the day, was self-taught in electricity. 


Figure 5: Edwin Holmes (1820 - 1901) Reprinted from Edwin T. Holmes, A 
Wonderful Fifty Years (1917), 9. 

The development and marketing of the Holmes Burglar 
Alarm Telegraph are recounted by Edwin Holmes's son Edwin T. 
Holmes in A Wonderful Fifty Years . At first, sales orders 
were slow; to most people electricity was still a foreign 
concept. And, "business men were loath to believe that a 


bell could be rung in the second floor of a house, at the 
opening of a door or window in the basement . "'^■^ In order to 
gain believers. Holmes constructed a model house with an 
alarm, which he carried to prospective clients as a means of 
demonstrating how the system worked. (Figure 6) He also 
advertised. However, Holmes soon "found by experience in 
introducing this protection, that advertising a 'Burglar 
Alarm,' does not attract the attention of that large class 
of property holders who would gladly avail themselves of any 
decidedly valuable method known to be such, of protecting 
their dwellings from the midnight murderer and assassin. It 
has also been learned that this attention cannot be gained 
by canvassers with the instrument in hand to exhibi t . "'^'^ 
Therefore in 1861, in an attempt to increase appeal and 
respectability of the system, Holmes published A Treatise 
Upon the Best Method of Protecting Property From Burglars , 
and Human Life From Midnight Assassins . ^^ (Appendix F) This 
pamphlet lists over seventy subscribers and recounts sever- 
al testimonials regarding the effectiveness of the system. 

Over the next several years Holmes worked to perfect 
his product, and he appears to have achieved acceptance; 
"the demand for burglar alarms in private residences in- 
creased very rapidly." A second compilation of testimoni- 
als titled. Your Attention is Respectful 1 y Requested to 
the Fol lowing Testimonials , (Appendix G) was published in 
1868. It contained 200 glowing testimonials and a list of 


Figure 6: Portable model of Telegraph House Alarm. Reprinted from Edwin 
T. Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years (1917), 15. 

over 1000 subscribers. The client list reads like a verita- 
ble who's who of the day. (Appendix G, pages 182-190) The 
majority were from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey 
with a few from Philadelphia and as far west as Detroit and 
Chicago. In addition to his office in New York at 201 Broad- 
way, Holmes had, in order to service these subscribers, 
opened offices in Chicago (114 Dearborn St), Troy, NY (205 
River Street), and Philadelphia, PA (no address given). 

The original Pope patent simply produced the ringing 
of a bell when any of the connected doors or windows were 


opened. Holmes improved the system by placing an annuncia- 
tor, which indicated the point from which the signal origi- 
nated, in the circuit. The annunciator designated the room 
in which a window had been left open when the house was 
closed, or, in case of an alarm, would show in which room an 
opening had been made.'*^ A sketch from the 1868 catalog and 
extant remains of his systems give a clear indication of the 
annunciator's appearance. (Figure 7) This type of indicator 
was called a switch annunciator. It operated "for the 
purpose of locating the part of the house operated upon by 
the burglar... it is not automatic, [yet it] still serves an 
excellent purpose ... when the alarm sounds the master of the 
house can, by moving the different handles in succession, 
quickly determine which belongs to the endangered room by 
finding which one is moved to stop the ringing of the 
bell." These switch annunciators could come with a dif- 
ferent number of knobs -- each customized with appropriate 
room identifications. (Figure 8) 

Figure 7: Switch annunciator. Reprinted from Edwin Holmes, Your Atten- 
tion (New York, 1868) 52. 


Figure 8: Switch annunciators. Top: 12-knob variety, Beechwocxi, Newport, 
RI ; Bottom, 15-knob variety. Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, CT. 

Only one bell was required for the entire house and 
it, along with the annunciator, was usually located in and 
controlled from the owner's bedroom. The bell apparatus was 
manufactured in the Boston shop of Charles Williams until 
1876 when "a Machine Shop was also put in operation uptown 
in New York for the exclusive manufacture of all of our 
[Holmes] electrical instruments and appliances." No re- 
mains of the bell used in a Holmes system has been discov- 
ered; however, Holmes's 1861 and 1868 pamphlets contain de- 
tailed sketches. (Figure 9) Switch "G" is the on/off control 
which attached the entire house at night and detached it in 
the day-time. A review of Holmes's city directory advertis- 
ing from 1867 to 1900 (Figure 10) suggests that at least 
outwardly the appearance of the bell used in the system did 
not change much from that depicted in the 1868 booklet. 

Because its noise is produced by a series of blows in 
rapid succession, this bell is given the name trembler. 
Although this bell will ring constantly while there is a 
completed circuit, it is not a continuous ringing bell and 
this is a drawback of consequence. In other words, if some- 
one opens a door, quickly enters, and closes the door again, 
the bell will ring briefly and stop. Only for the duration 
of the ringing could the annunciator be utilized to deter- 
mine the area of the house in which the disturbance oc- 
curred. In the previous scenario, for example, was it a 
servant or child opening a door without realizing the system 




A. Alarm IWII. 
B B. MagiicU 

C. AiiiLiturc. 

D. Boll llaminor. 

E. Ucguliiting Screw. 

F. Silver Circuit Breaker. 
(;. Switcli. 
n H H. Screw (;ii|w. 

I. lllack Wulmil Base. 

■I J .1. Tlic Bcveral wirci 
rroiii nlioiit IIlu lioiiau 
termiiialiiii; at tlic bell 

K. Serowbcomiectiiig with 
wiresi iiu.leniealli 

I.. IvDry Circuit r.r.:aker. 

»l«ajson ilu-spoi. 

U is II wutcUman tUat baa b 
9 10 slcei), cauuul be boii^lil 
proves that it is x^erfcetly ;i 

Figiire 9: Bell apparatios fran the Holmes Burglar Alarm Telegraph system. 
Reprinted from Top; Edwin Holmes, A Treatise (Brooklyn, 1861), 37. 
Bottom; Edwin Holmes, Yo\ir Attention (New York, 1868), 52. 


Ii-.|M„« ivIiviM. l.l,n,„|,|,, r.J lr«:,y, I, I.Vl IM 
lay.l... uv :i'kl)„ 

to I) AV IN M ii l, M !■: S, 

J~t-^ '' ALARM 

S^^tffllS^ TELEGRAPH, 

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Uohims Kdwin, oUrin, 201 b'wny, h 133 LnlnyclW 
nv. JJ'kyn 

ggg^'^^' TELEGRAPH, 
201 B'WAY. 


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■'''''^^'^" TELEGRAPH. 
7 inunnAV stueet. 


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<. . .-i 7 1 Jl 11 <) A 1) AV ,W. 

llolinoi llurtlar Ali 

liolnic. Diirvliw Ali.nn Tcltgrapli Co. D18 L 194 



I KloClric Hotel «jid IIouso Annuncl«tor». 

JTulnm- Electric Time LotJt. 

iVo.j 5 1 S 33 It O ^ i> -WyVY. 


TcktfrBfh Co. 01811'woy 


Burglar Alarm 
Telegraph Co. 

Eloclrlo nori;lnr Alnriii«, 
iroUl Knd HOUBO AiiminololorF, Ilulriics- liloctdo 
Time Lock. KDVnN nOLMES. TrcM. 

No. r,ia jbro-a.davjvy. 

TclogTurh -Co. Clf 


.Burglar Alarm 
^j ^ciSS^ t Tclograpt\|Co. 
"' ■'Tu~<"Z'i''^.\.TZ: 

rnwiN Mni.«K.s T.i.» . 

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Eurglar Alarm 
Telegraph Co.-t 

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t^i, r-n\^ IN iiol,Mf.-S. Tf.«. 1 

UO CortlniKlL tfitroot;. 



larglar Alarm 
Tolcgraph Co. 

U nndttStroot. 



Figure 10: Holmes City directory listings, 1867 - 1900. 


was activated -- or a burglar entering? By the time the 
house is searched the burglar, if he is the culprit, will 
have come and gone. 

Generally, basements, as well as first floors and 
second floors were alarmed. Every exposed door and window 
had to be connected with the annunciator/bell. Insulated 
wire was needed to maintain the integrity of the electrical 
circuit and to protect the conductors from damage. Reported- 
ly, "the only insulated wire to be had at this period was a 
very fine copper wire wound with silk, such as was used for 
the making of magnets in the various telegraph instruments" 
while what Holmes needed was a "large size insulated wire." 
Holmes's solution was to have "no. 18 bare copper wire 
braided with cotton" and coated with green paint. It was by 

this same process that Holmes was supplied with insulated 

5 2 
wire until 1870. Patrons are assured that, "not a wire, 

or spring, or machinery of any kind, but the bell, can be 

seen in the house." However, the method of installing the 

wire is never explained except to say, "it can be introduced 

into any house without defacing it in the least; not a board 

is removed, not a mark or scratch can be seen in conse- 

quence; it occasions no inconvenience whatever. 

Extant remains confirm use of 18 gauge copper wire 

wrapped, not braided with a green tinted thread. These wires 

were led from the main annunciator (Figure 11) iji grooves 

cut in the f i oor boards to the window or door opening 


Figure 11: Wires exit from the point on the reverse of the main annunci- 
ator panel and begin their journey to encompass the perimeter of the 
house. ( Lockwood -Mathews ) 

(Figure 12) where they then go behind paneling or trim to 
reach the contact switch or key. These grooves are so true 
and regular (Figure 13) they appear to have been cut using a 
specially designed tool. To date, the only image of a 
floor groover is from the 1887 E.S. Greeley catalog. (Figure 
14) Grooves have only been found in plain wood floors, 
which, between 1850 and 1875 were usually fully carpeted in 
houses of the wealthy. ^'^ Therefore, one may assume that any 
floors with visible wiring today, were, at the time of alarm 
installation, carpeted. The manner of applying wires to 
rooms with decorative flooring (inlaid or stone) which was 
meant to be exposed has not been determined. 


Figure 12: Wires led beMnd window molding. (Lockwood -Ma thews) 

Figure 13: Regularity of floor -embedded wires. ( Lockwood-Mathews ) 




Price ciicli, c<)iii|)lrt<' "illi liMiiilIc ^ r,|, 

■■ extra Lilndis. )'i'r ilo/.cii 


Price, each *"■ 

S^^^^^^I^Xo^i'l'fl^v^^'^c" ""•' i;rSm,no. Haodle, C0,u,.eve: ,r,ce 

Figiire 14: Floor groover. Reprinted frcxn E.S. Greeley, Catalogue and 
Price List of Telegraph, Telephone, Electric Light (New York, 1887) 

Contact switches, or "keys" were applied to all 
alarmed doors and windows. Because this is the place where 
the two circuit wires were brought into contact with each 
other to complete the circuit the proper action of the key 
was crucial to the successful operation of the system. 
Pope's original patent explains the form and function of the 
key in some detail. When applied to a door (Figure 15) the 
key consisted of a small fixed metal plate [L], attached to 
the door frame; and a metallic spring [M] secured to the 
door and housed in frame recess [N]. One of the wires [K] 
leading from the battery ends at metallic plate [L]. The 
second battery wire [P] is connected to the spring [M] . On 
the inner edge of the door, is a small stud or pin [O] 
projecting from the door. Because pin [O] projects against 


the spring [M] it forces or presses the spring away from 
plate [L]. With the door closed the circuit was broken. 
Opening a door causes the metal spring [M] connected to the 
battery wire [P] to move against the plate [L] connected to 
the circuit wire [K] , which completes the circuit by con- 

necting the battery to the bell 










. ^-' 










; 1 J 1 

Figure 15: Door contact or key. Reprinted from Augustus R. Pope UK 
patent no. 1795 specifications, August 1, 1853. 


As applied to the window (Figure 16) the key is de- 
scribed in the following manner: [E] and [F] are window 
sashes of window frame [G]. Wire [P/X] is led from the 
battery and extended into the window frame and connected 
with the lower end of metallic spring [b] . This spring [b] 
is located on the pulley stile of the frame and rests 
against the edge of the sash. The edge of the sash is shaped 
in a manner so that when the window is raised the spring [b] 
is pressed against the end of the second battery wire [Y] . 

— f 

\ T 

S( : 


Figure 16: Window contact or key. Reprinted fran Augustus R. Pope UK 
patent no. 1795 specifications, August 1, 1853. 


Three known circa 1868 installations, however, show 
that the key used on both doors and windows had changed in 
appearance since 1853. Holmes's window and door springs were 
made, until 1876, at a little shop in Chatham Square. ^^ 
Door and casement window contacts are a single self-con- 
tained unit applied to the frame. (Figure 17) These are 
called dotting contacts. (Figure 18) The key is inset into 

Figure 17: Visible portion of door contact (dotting). ( Armour -Stiner) 



Figure 18: Dotting contacts. Left: Armour-Stiner ; Right: Reprinted from 
F.C. Allsop, Practical Electric Bell Fitting (London, 1890), 20. 

the frame until just plate [b] is flush with the wooden 
surface. When the sash or door is closed it pushes rod [r] 
in against the pressure of the spiral spring [s], which 
causes the arm [a] to break contact with plate [d] which is 
insulated from the framework. When the door or window is 
opened, even slightly, the rod is released and the circuit 
closed by arm [a] moving up and into contact with plate [d] 


each of which are connected to circuit wires [t]. When fixed 
in the rebate of a closed door or window the points of 
contact are kept apart; but as soon as it is opened, the 
stud passes outward through the hole, and the points of 
contact come together and complete the circuit of the wires 

c n 

in connection with the bell. 

When extant systems on double hung windows were stud- 
ied, accessibility and visibility made it impossible to do a 
complete examination. In the best case scenario it was 
possible to examine a portion of the key let into the frame. 
For lack of an official name, these will be referred to as 
plate-type contacts. A small square plate of metal (1/2" by 
1/2") affixed by two screws (Figure 19) is attached to the 

Figure 19: Window plate-type contact. (Lockwood -Mathews) 


window frame on the sash weight side. This is the contact 
point for one of the circuit wires. It is located at the 
point just below where the top rail of the bottom sash 
rests when in a fully closed position. It is only visible 
when the bottom sash is fully raised. This feat, because of 
design or age, is often not possible. (Figure 20) The second 

Figure 20: Window design does not permit window contacts to be seen. 
(Beechwood) . 


circuit wire and contact point is 1 or 2 inches above the 
first. It is placed in such a manner that it is hidden by 
the top rail (of the bottom sash) when the window is closed 
and by the bottom rail when the window is open. Occasional- 
ly, when the sash has adequate play the wire leading to the 
second contact plate can be seen. Although it was not 
possible to remove a window sash to examine a complete key 
-- it is fairly evident how the system worked. One would 
expect to find some sort of a metal plate let into and 
running the length of the side of the sash corresponding to 
the circuit wires in the frame. This plate would begin on 
the sash just below the point corresponding to where the 
upper wire terminates. Therefore, when the window was fully 
closed the circuit was not complete. Raising the window, 
even slightly would cause the plate in the sash to bridge 
the gap and effectively connect the two circuit wires. 
(Figure 21) 

The power supply for the entire system was an electric 
or galvanic battery, protected from damage by an enclosure 
twenty inches long, nine inches high, and six inches wide 
secured by a lock and key. (Figure 22) The box was not 
offensive, and it could stand in any out of the way closet 
or pantry. Maintenance consisted of the addition of a few 
cents worth of vitriol in the battery six times a year. 
Because it was necessary to inspect the batteries from time 
to time, boxes were specially made -- with double hinged top 






1 I 



Figure 21: Conpleting the window circuit. Drawing by Herbert M. Schoen. 

Figure 22: Battery box. Reprinted from S.R. Bottone, Electric Bells and 
all About Them (New York, 1890), 43. 


and sides, so that when the catch was released these fall 
flat allowing access to or removal of any individual cell. 
In fact. Holmes reports, "it is so simple and so easily 
taken care of that a child can do it." Although Holmes fails 
to name the specific battery type recommended for use in the 
system, by the 1860s certainly it was a two fluid wet cell 
battery. ^^ 

Holmes's publications make no mention of the cost of 
the system. Family names associated with wealth and social 
prominence predominate on the subscriber list. The grandeur 
of most of the case study homes supports the notion that in 
the early years, at least, only the most affluent could 
avail themselves of this technology. Patrons are told "it 
requires from four to sixteen days to apply one to a 
house. "^^ Several subscribers indicate that the piece of 
mind was well worth the financial outlay. However, only one 
testimonial suggests a price for the system: "It is the most 
satisfactory hundred dollars I have spent about my house." 
The writer does not indicate if this was a fully installed 
price and, the number of days required. 

This completes the review of the basic alarm package 
offered to subscribers. Subsequent changes to the system 
were either options, or improvements to a feature of the 
basic Holmes system. The basic alarm outfit available to 
subscribers consisted of an electromagnetic bell, a bat- 
tery, insulated copper wire, an annunciator, and a key (or 


contact switch) for each window and door.^-^ Over the next 
few decades, in addition to the introduction of new fea- 
tures, each of these basic components were refined. 

The first positively dated improvement to the system 
came on March 26, 1867, when Holmes was issued patent number 
63,158 for an "Improvement in Electric Circuit-Breaking 
Clocks." (Appendix H) This mechanism could disconnect a 
circuit at any designated time of the day and leave it 
unconnected for a predetermined period of time. Additional- 
ly, it could reconnect at a predetermined hour. The attach- 
ment was introduced into the circuit attached to the doors 
and windows used by servants as they went about their 
early-morning chores. By breaking only this particular 
circuit the sounding of the alarm which would awaken the 
residents of the house was prevented. However, opening of 
any other door or window would, as usual, activate the 
alarm. ^2 (Figure 23) 

Several other improvements or options are described in 
the 1868 Holmes booklet. First, the ability to divide a 
house into two zones was introduced. "The alarm can be set 
for a part of the house, and not the whole, if desired. "^■^ 
Although no substantiating patent has been found, it is 
suspected that, at least initially, zones were established 
at the time of the system installation. For example, a 
household might be divided into upstairs and downstairs 


p p 9 9 

&0 9????'' 

Sw $UJ 

D VtST >^ ULE 

E Hi3RA«.Xi v\uSic R.ootv\ 

<3 S\l.LlA«.T>S 4. UUMCH^OOMS 

1 SeavAMTS -Kaow^s 


K FAmiv-Y ILoo.mS 

M Si-TT\s4S Room 

N v*j\\.\.\c& licioM 

A-!iTMUK.'S RoaK 

Figure 23: Electrical schematic, two zone system with clock circuit 
breaker on kitchen circuit. (Speculation of Lockwood-Mathews circuitry.) 

zones. While a party was taking place on the first floor -- 
doors and windows in these public rooms would be in use by 
guests, and therefore, this zone would be turned off. The 
second floor however, would probably be empty -- with serv- 
ants and residents alike, all involved in the entertainment. 
Therefore the alarm might only be set for this unoccupied 
zone. The bell diagrams (Figure 9, page 31) shows three 
wires leading into the left side of the bell. This suggests 
a two-zone situation where one wire would be common and each 
of the remaining two would be in control of the zone se- 
lected or omitted. (Figure 23). 


Second, Holmes claims, "windows can be left open 
sufficient for ventilation, and the alarm given if they are 
moved from their respective places." No patent associated 
with this improvement to the key portion of the apparatus 
has been identified. However, this feature was probably 
accomplished simply by making a break in the metal strip 
affixed to the sash. Originally, this piece would have run 
the entire length of the window sash, but by installing two 
strips of metal with a space between them -- the window 
could be opened to this point -- enough to provide air -- 
but not enough for a person to crawl through. Any subse- 
quent movement of the sash would activate the alarm. 

Holmes also reports the effectiveness of the system in 
unoccupied residences. "This alarm is particularly valuable 
during the temporary absence of the family, as the bell 
makes so much noise, that no burglar will risk himself in 
the house while it is ringing, or the wires can be extended 
and the bell placed in a neighbor's house. "^^ This practice 
of having a neighbor remotely monitor an unoccupied prem- 
ises, was at least upon one occasion, undertaken. 

Our readers will probably remember the tragedy at 
Bay Ridge, where two burglars - who turned out to be 
the abductors of the child Charlie Ross - lost their 
lives in attempting to rob an unoccupied dwelling. 
The alarm having been arranged so as to sound in the 
residence of a neighbor, he, with his coachman and 
gardener, surrounded the house and awaited their 
exit, utterly unsuspected by them.^^ 


The next improvement in alarm technology was the 
introduction of an automatic annunciator, which instantly 
identified the location of a disturbance. Although on July 
20, 1858, William Whiting was issued patent number 20,970, 
for an "Improved Electro-Magnetic House-Alarm" (Appendix I) 
which includes an automatic annunciator, there is no evi- 
dence to show that he or anyone else marketed it at this 

time. Practical automatic annunciators were developed in 

the 1870s, although it is uncertain who was responsible for 
introducing the first model . 

Trade catalog searches show that three general classi- 
fications of annunciators existed: switch, drop, and needle. 
(Figure 24) Variations on the manual switch annunciator 
previously described remained in production until at least 
1893, presumably because it was inexpensive. The automatic 
varieties worked principally by the movements of a needle 
over a dial or by the falling of a drop. In a needle 
annunciator the arrows lie horizontal when in normal posi- 
tion, and when activated, point to room(s) indicated above 
them. In the drop annunciator, cards drop down in front of 
apertures arranged in rows on the annunciator face, or the 
name of a room is uncovered by a piece falling away. Trade 
catalogs advertise that these annunciators could be used 
interchangeably either for a burglar alarm or for a maid 
call system. The difference would be window contacts rather 
than a push button. 








-?UVIVtJTVC-X.?iT\DR CFiFiOIsrOL^CXyV , 1853 — 1897 

Partrick & Carter Co. 


i,> i^ ji^ ' 

Western Electric Manufacturing Co., in 1877 claimed 

"the substitution of the Automatic Annunciator for the 

switch.. (an improvement which we believe was first success- 
fully and publicly introduced by oursel ves ) . "°° This needle 

style instrument was developed by Elisha Gray and patent 
118,231 for an "Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Annuncia- 
tors" (Appendix J) was issued on August 22, 1871. This 
patent was improved upon and reissued (Appendix K) before 
the annunciator assumed a final form. It could come with or 
without a circuit breaking clock attachment. (Figure 25) A 
small switch at one side completes or opens the circuit, and 
on the other side, a knob controls the connection with the 
bell. A row of studs at the base allows for any desired 
group of openings to be disconnected. Therefore each circuit 
also represented an independent zone. By manipulating the 
lower row of keys alarm coverage could be adapted to a 
variety of situations giving increased flexibility over the 
two zone system Holmes offered in 1868. Besides giving an 
alarm with a burglary attempt the annunciator can also show 
whether a building is properly secured. A forgotten window 
or door will be pointed out, an important feature in large 
business establishments with many openings. By disconnecting 
the bell, this test can be made silently. ^^ (Appendix L) 

Holmes's earliest confirmed availability of an auto- 
matic annunciator came on February 20, 1872, when Charles E. 


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Chinnock of New York assigned to Edwin Holmes patent 123,808 
for an "Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Annunciators." 
(Appendix M) This annunciator face resembles Holmes's 
earlier switch annunciator but rotating from the center is a 
needle which points to the room in which entry is made. A 
Philadelphia circular of the early to mid-1870s indicates 
that Holmes also offered a drop style annunciator. (Appendix 
N). On August 17, 1875, after the death of William Whiting, 
his 1858 patent 20,970 for Electro-Magnetic House-Alarms, 
which described a drop style annunciator was reissued and 
simultaneously his executors assigned it to Edwin T. Holmes, 
son of Edwin Holmes. (Appendix O) 

An improvement over the earlier trembler bell was a 
continuous ringing bell, where the ringing action, once 
started, continued either until the battery was exhausted, 
or until it was stopped by resetting the system. Holmes's 
November 7, 1871 patent 120,744, (Appendix P) for an "Im- 
provement in Circuit-Closers for Electrical Burglar-Alarms 
and Signals," produced a "continuous alarm" by activating an 
independent circuit into which the bell was placed. 

Up until this point, the most obvious indication of an 
alarm system is the presence of floor-embedded wires. Per- 
haps this method of wiring was unique to Holmes, but even 
so, at some point it became obsolete. Because of limited 
system remains from the 1870s and 1880s it is not possible 


to say when wiring practices began to adapt to the current 
practice of concealing all electrical wiring in wall chases. 
As an intermediary step floor-embedded wires were replaced 
by wires fixed to the walls, "they may be concealed in the 
mouldings, cornices, or corners". "To keep the wires in 
position, bone insulators, may be used nailed into the 
wall," designed to meet various needs. Silk or cotton 
covered wires of which "all shades may be obtained to match 
the wall-papers and other furniture" were available. ^° The 
1889 Bel 1 Hangers ' Handbook reports "it looks better to 
"fish" the wires under the floors, above ceilings, and 
between the lathing of the walls."'^-'- 

A review of trade catalogs reveals that the window and 
door contact switches continued to evolve over the next 
decades. Door contacts (Figure 26) outwardly, at least, 
retained a very similar dotting contact profile, while 
window contacts (Figure 27) experienced more pronounced 
changes. Window contacts, as designed, up to this period 
were not without potential problems. The contacts were only 
found applied to the lower sash. A burgl ar-in- the-know 
could lower the upper sash and climb over, or, breaking the 
pane of glass could enter without raising the sash at all. 
Western Electric's 1877 catalog is the earliest example 
discovered to date where the first issue is addressed. While 
the catalog does not show an image of the contact, it does 
offer the option to connect only one sash of a window (two 



J.H. Bunnell 6 

Owen Walsh 

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J.H. Bunnell S Co 

Owen Walsh 

Edwards & Company 

dollars per window) or both sashes (three dollars per win- 
dow). Extant remains from Western Electric systems shows 
that their contacts were in the form of single or double 
compressible points. (Figure 28). 

Patent 120,875 (Appendix Q) issued November 14, 1871, 
to Edwin Holmes and Henry C. Roome for an "Improvement in 
Electro-Magnetic Burglar-Proof Curtains" addressed the 
second concern. The curtain, connected to the alarm appara- 
tus was suspended behind the window or in other suitable 
places and when moved or pierced, it would sound the alarm 
bell. In this case where there are no trade catalog promo- 
tions or extant remains, it is questionable if this alarm 
curtain was actually ever marketed, certainly, its success 
must have been less than spectacular.'''"^ 

Through the 1860s and into the early 1870s, Holmes was 
apparently the only provider of electric burglar alarm 
protection. The first evidence of competition with Holmes 
in the delivery of local burglar alarm protection is an 1872 
circular issued by George E. Cock and J.H. Guest of the 
Electro-Magnetic Fire and Burglar Alarm Telegraph office. 
(Appendix R) Mr. Guest, claims, "ten years of practical 
application and study, has brought to a perfect system the 
arrangement of an Electro-Magnetic Alarm, and we confidently 
offer it as free from the annoying defects of the older 
efforts." If one assumes the claim of ten years experience 
is truthful, that would indicate Guest had been involved in 






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the alarm industry since 1862. To date, no hint of competi- 
tors with Holmes has surfaced before 1868. Additionally, 
the description of the system in the 1872 circular bears a 
tremendous resemblance to the Holmes descriptions, so much 
so that it is difficult to imagine that it was developed 
independently. Therefore the most likely source of Guest's 
experience would have been as an employee of Holmes. J. H. 
Guest of Brooklyn receives his first patent no. 79, 973 
(Appendix S) for an "Improved Electro-Magnetic Burglar and 
Fire Alarm" on July 14, 1868. Guest and Cock had evidently, 

by 1871 formed a partnership and begin to market their 

7 6 
system in earnest. The earliest patent registered jointly 

to Cock and Guest is no. 118,199 for and "Electro-Magnetic 

Burglar Alarm" on August 22, 1871 (Appendix T) . 

Development of Central Station Alarms 
Although the overwhelming majority of alarm installa- 
tions were in private residences, a number of banks and 
businesses were listed in Holmes's 1861 and 1868 publica- 
tions as clients. "The Telegraph House Alarm can be connect- 
ed with any shop, office, store, or public building in New 
York, in such a manner, that the opening of any door, win- 
dow, office or desk-drawers of the premises will ring a bell 
so situated that it can be heard by the police in almost any 
part of his beat." In such commercial premises the bell 
rather than being placed in the sleeping quarters, was made 


larger and was mounted on the outside of the protected 
premises. If the establishment was burglarized an alarm 
would be rung, and if the sound itself did not scare away 
the intruder, hopefully the alarm would be responded to by 
anyone who heard it. While an external bell might effec- 
tively frighten off a first time intruder, such criminals 
were apt to attack again. Because high risk business sub- 
scribers could not be assured the alarm bell would generate 
the desired response they needed a more effective system to 
protect their premises. A preferred tactic would be to 
capture the burglar, eliminating a threat and discouraging 
others tempted to try their hand. The solution for these 
business houses, banks, and jewelers who were generally 
empty at night lay in circuits that could be continuously 
supervised and responded to from a central point. ^^ Howev- 
er, it would be several years before this central station 
concept, which was developed for other applications was 
applied to burglar alarms. 

As it is commonly known, central station protection 
originated with the municipal fire alarm telegraph systems 
of the 1850s. The next protection related application of the 
central station began on October 5, 1871, when Edward A. 
Callahan organized in New York City a company named "The 
American District Telegraph Company" (ADT) to market public 
district messenger or dispatch service. Callahan devised a 
system based on the Channing-Farmer fire alarm. Special 


signal boxes (Figure 29) installed in homes and business 
establishments enabled the subscriber to transmit a coded 
signal to a central station and thereby obtain specific 
services. By rotating a pointer, the subscriber could select 
the type of service needed, initially either messenger or 
police, others were added later. The signal received at the 
central station indicated which box the call came from, and 
the desired service could be dispatched. ADT divided Brook- 
lyn and later New York City into small districts each served 
by a central station whose location was arranged so that no 
call box within the network was more than four blocks in 
distance or more than three minutes running time from the 
district office. ^° The service was extended almost immedi- 
ately to other cities; Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore 
being among the earl iest . ^■'- Although all the companies were 
patterned after the New York organization, none of them were 
directly affiliated with it. 

As a method of alarm security, the district telegraph 
call box was little competition to Holmes, and while dis- 
trict messenger services spread. Holmes was not idle. The 
next major advance in alarm technology developed as a result 
of the needs of the commercial subscriber. On December 20, 
1870, Holmes, with Henry C. Roome was issued patent number 
110,362 for an "Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Envelopes 
for Safes and Vaults & c." (Appendix U) In this system the 


Figiire 29: ADT signal boxes. Reprinted from E.S. Greeley, Catalogue and 
Price List of Telegraph, Telephone (New York, 1887), 277. 

interior of a jeweler's cabinet or safe was lined with an 
electric envelope connected to a battery and alarm appara- 
tus. Included in the alarm was a galvanometer, a device 
which detected changes in current levels of electric cir- 
cuits. The lining is made of two pliable sheets of metal 
imperfectly insulated from each other, (by a coating such as 
gum-shellac and paper) or the sheets of metal are connected 
with each other by a resistance coil of metallic ribbon 
arranged in convolutions on the face of the sheet. In either 
arrangement, when the sheets are connected to the battery a 
slight current of electricity will pass from one to the 
other. A change in resistance in the closed circuit regis- 
tered on the galvanometer monitoring it and if the movement 
was above or below established levels, the alarm would 
sound. Attempts to perforate the envelope or lining would, 


because the current no longer has to pass through he resist- 
ance coil or the imperfect insulator membrane, establish a 
perfect electrical connection between the metal sheets. 
Increased electricity flow produces a corresponding movement 
in the needle of the galvanometer causing the alarm to 
sound. If the battery connection was severed the electricity 

flow ceased, also causing the alarm apparatus to give a 

8 3 
signal. In this arrangement, when attacked, the safe or 

vault might sustain substantial damage or injury before the 

lining is reached and the alarm given. Therefore Holmes next 

designed a wooden cabinet to cover or surround bank vaults. 

(Figure 30) By applying the electric lining to the cabinet 

the alarm would sound before the thief could reach and 

damage the safe. Patent 120,874 for an "Improvement in 

Electric Linings for Safes" (Appendix V) was issued November 

14, 1871. The company began to market the system in 1872 and 

it was an immediate success. "Our protection met an urgent 

Figure 30: Holmes Electric Protective 's electric- lined cabinet. Reprint- 
ed from Edwin T. Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years (1917) , 36. 


want and many Banks and nearly all the jewelers of Maiden 
Lane were ready to place their orders with us for our pro- 
tection and the Holmes Burglar Alarm Company became quite a 
factor in the business life of New York." (Appendix W) 
Holmes's son describes, an 

electric- 1 ined cabinet with panels so exposed, that 
you could puncture the metal with a pin or any kind 
of a tool, and when one panel was ruined we could 
put a new one in, and this we exhibited in a large 
vacant room, the cabinet at one end and our galva- 
nometer apparatus at the other end of the room with 
a copper wire running between. ... Such experiments 
and exhibitions rapidly brought business and before 
we were ready to take it. It was not as difficult 
to obtain orders as it had been fourteen years 
previous . 

"Of course it is to be understood that the galvanome- 
ter and alarm, as well as the battery, are to be placed at 

It R fi 
any required distance from the structure to be protected. 

Instead of connecting the vault sensors "with a bell on the 
outside of the building" Holmes decided "to run the wires 
into a central office" equipped twenty four hours a day with 
guards who upon receiving an alarm signal would be dis- 
patched to investigate. The first central station service 
for burglar alarms was established in 1872 by Holmes on the 
top floor of 194 Broadway, New York, and shortly thereafter 
the Holmes Company opened a central station in Boston at 342 
Washington Street. ^^ (Figure 31) Holmes was awarded a 
diploma for the safe and vault invention in 1872 and 

received additional recognition when he exhibited the safe 

8 8 
cabinet at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. 


The exact date at which central station alarm protec- 
tion was added to the residential roster of alarm services 
is uncertain. By 1875 The Telegrapher reports the beginnings 
of residential applications utilizing the local alarm con- 
nected with a district call box. "The ordinary domestic 
burglar alarm, which is now so extensively used, is often 
connected with the American District system, so that if any 
attempt is made to enter the house thus protected, whether 
occupied or unoccupied, an alarm is instantly sounded and 

recorded at the district office by the ever vigilant senti- 

Figure 31: Holmes Central Station roof fixture for wires. Reprinted 
from Edwin T. Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years (1917), 54. 



In order to clarify patent and trade catalog descrip- 
tions, inspection of actual system remnants was essential. 
Examining a variety of houses with different versions of the 
Holmes system and of competing companies' systems would have 
been ideal. However, identifying a representative group of 
case studies was to prove impossible. Although Holmes's 
publications referenced more than 1200 customers, these 
listings are limited to installations done during the ten 
year period between 1858 and 1868. During the course of 
research, no comprehensive listing for the competitors was 
found. The case studies presented therefore, were selected 
not because they are the most appropriate remnants in exist- 
ence, but because they were identified at all. Some of the 
case studies are private homes, others museums or public 
buildings. All of the owners/ caretakers permitted, to 
varying degrees, investigation of the physical remains, and 
provided copies of archival materials when they existed. 

Three of the case studies are known to be Holmes sys- 
tems installed between 1861 and 1868: Lockwood-Mathews 
Mansion, Norwalk, Connecticut; the Bowne House, Flushing, 
New York; and the John Fraser House in Riverton, New Jersey. 


Beechwood, in Newport, Rhode Island, while not positively 
identified, is almost certainly a Holmes system of this same 
period. The Armour-Stiner (Octagon) house, in I rvington-On- 
Hudson, New York, is post 1872, and was probably installed 
by one of Holmes's early competitors. Wilderstein in Rhine- 
beck, New York, and the Maish house in Des Moines, Iowa, are 
both Western Electric systems of the 1880s. 

In addition to the problem of selection there are 
other shortcomings. First, there were limits in terms of 
intrusive tactics. For example, removal of a window sash to 
determine the form and features of the key applied thereto, 
and dissection of a dotting key would have been desirable 
but was not realistic. Second, archival material about each 
house and its various development stages was often non- 
existent or spotty. Searching for site-specific documents 
might have been helpful in developing a broader understand- 
ing of the system but was not possible because of time 
constraints . 

In spite of these limitations, the case studies do 
reveal information about the system and in some instances 
raise important questions. In light of the fact that each of 
these houses is quite outstanding, the case studies begin 
with a review of the information regarding the house and its 
inhabitants. Following is a synopsis of the extant system 
remnants and their implications. 


Lockwood-Ma thews Mansion Musei 

Norwalk, Connecticut 

The building known today as the Lockwood-Mathews Man- 
sion Museum was the largest private residence designed by 
architect Detlef Lienau (1818-1887) (Figure 32). Elm Park, 
as the estate was originally called, was constructed between 
1864 and 1868 for LeGrand Lockwood (1820-1872). The house, 
consisting of over fifty rooms, was described by one news- 
paper article as "the most magnificent country seat in 
America." When constructed, it was outfitted with many 
innovative building systems and features including numerous 
bathrooms, a central steam heating system, a 2000 gallon 
water tank in the attic as well as a theater, a bowling 
alley, and, of course, an electro-magnetic burglar alarm. 

LeGrand Lockwood was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 
1820, and moved to New York City in 1832. At the age of 18, 
Lockwood began his career as a clerk in a Wall Street bro- 
kerage firm. In 1843, he became a partner in the firm Genin 
and Lockwood (1843-1856). When Genin retired, in 1857, 
Lockwood was left as senior partner of the then Lockwood and 
Co., (1857-1873) Brokers at 22 William Street. The firm 
financed and managed several emerging railroads, sold 
stocks, and during the Civil War, government bonds. Lock- 
wood and Co. was noted for "its prominence and stability 
during the war, and its large subscription to national loans 
established its position as the leading stock house of the 


country and thereafter its business assumed the additional 
character of a private banking firm. 

In 1863, Lockwood began purchasing land in Norwalk 
along West Avenue. ^"^ It was on this land that the mansion 
was constructed. The New York Times of August 5, 1867, said 
it would "cost, with grounds, nearly two millions of dol- 
lars, and when completed, will stand with scarcely a rival 
in the United States." In addition to the main house, the 
thirty-acre parcel had twelve outbuildings, including: a 
gate lodge, several greenhouses, a carriage house, and a 
stable. (Figure 33) The estate stood as an impressive 
monument to a new class of men who were responsible for 
America's transition into industrial greatness. 

Figure 32: Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, exterior. 


Figure 33: Elm Park, South Norwalk, Conn., grounds plan. 

LeGrand had married Ann Louisa Benedict (1823-1882), 
also a Norwalk native, in 1842. The Lockwoods had six 
children who survived to adulthood; five boys and a girl. 
(Appendix X) The Lockwood family moved into the unfinished 
estate in 1868. 


The attempts of Jay Gould and James Fisk to manipulate 
the gold market were to result in Black Friday, on September 
24, 1869. The precipitous drop in the price of gold bank- 
rupted Lockwood and Co., along with many other brokerage 
houses. As part of the effort to reestablish Lockwood and 
Co. and to satisfy his creditors, Lockwood mortgaged the 
uncompleted Elm Park on November 5, 1869. Although success- 
ful in reestablishing the firm, Lockwood's premature death, 
at the age of 52, on February 27, 1872, and the panic of 
1873 ultimately resulted in the failure of the firm. After 
his death, his widow sold his substantial art collection, 
and in 1873 the estate was put up for sale. Mrs. Lockwood, 
Henry and the three youngest children then moved back to New 
York City to live with LeGrand, Jr., and his family. In 
1874, when Mrs. Lockwood was unable to make the final mort- 
gage payment, the Lake Shore & Michigan Railroad foreclosed 
on the property, ending the Lockwood era. 

It is from the several sale announcements placed in 
papers of the day that much of the information regarding the 
original outfitting of the completed mansion can be ascer- 
tained. Of specific interest are the various comments 
regarding the security system. Statements ranged from the 
incorrect "there is a Burglar Alarm connecting with every 
door and window in the house,' to the more precise "there 
is an electric burglar alarm connected with all the exterior 
doors and windows on principal and second floors. It has 


two indicators, one at the door of chamber "c" on the second 
floor, and one at the end of the hall on second floor of 
servants' quarters." (Figure 34) 

The house was sold to Charles Drelincourt Mathews 
(1821-1879), a prominent New York importer. Fortunately, 
"while Mathews occupied the mansion they made no structural 
changes in the building."'' The Mathews family occupied the 
house until 1938. In 1941, the City of Norwalk purchased 
the estate for park purposes. The mansion was then used as 
city offices and for storage space. In the early 1960s it 
narrowly escaped demolition and in 1969 was opened to the 
public as a museum. 

Although construction began on Elm Park in 1864, the 
family did not take up residence until 1868 and therefore 
the system is believed to date from the latter year. As 
LeGrand Lockwood is listed among the Holmes subscribers in 
the 1868 brochure, the system is certainly no later. 

The remnants at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion are the most 
intact of the case study group. This house has two 15 knob 
switch annunciators which each measure 5 1/2" in diameter. 
(See Figure 8, page 29, bottom) The first is located in the 
second floor hall between the master bedrooms and the second 
in the hallway of the servants' wing. Each knob appears to 
represent a group of contiguous rooms. (Appendix Y) 

The bel 1 /annunciator station at the master bedroom 
location was built into a cabinet which measures 5' 7" tall 


Lockwood-Matticws Mansion Muse 


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Flflur* 34: fUniuntA •urvey: (ir»t end S4-cani (loot plans, indicatina type and location of aratan «vi(i«nc«. 

by 18" wide. (Figure 35) In the servants' quarters the an- 
nunciator is applied directly to the wall, above a shelf and 
its supporting bracket. (Figure 36) The dimensions of this 
shelf matches a ghost image which appears on the main panel. 
The bell at the main panel is not original and there is no 
bell at the second location. The lone knob on the left 
side of the main control panel was almost certainly used to 
control zoning. (Figure 37) The system is attached to first 
and second floor windows and exterior doors. Plate-type 
contacts are applied to the double hung windows and dotting 
type keys are found on the casement windows and doors. (See 
Figure 34, Page 73) Because there are bars on the basement 
windows these, as might be expected, are not alarmed. Room 
indicators on the annunciators tell us (although no evidence 
remains) that the wine cellar and the exterior cellar doors 
were alarmed. 

The first names on the annunciator are Florence, 
Arthur and Willie, all Lockwood children. The appearance 
of these names raise questions regarding previously as- 
signed room use. Although the third floor is not restored, 
interpreted or open to the public, it is believed that these 
rooms were "bedrooms for the younger children and their 
governess . "•'"'^'^ While the second floor suites "were used by 
the older Lockwood sons and by guests . "•^°-'- If this were the 
case, since the third floor is unalarmed, one would not 


Figure 35. Main annunciator and bell station. 

expect to find the names Florence or Arthur on the annuncia- 
tor. This, therefore suggests, that these children must 
have had designated rooms on the second floor. 

Additionally, because the names on the annunciator 
remain to this day it is concluded that during the Mathews 
family occupancy (whose children were named Lillian, Harry, 
Florence and Charles) the system was either not used or it 


was no longer functioning. This assumption is made for two 
reasons. The Mathews family certainly could have, and 
probably would have changed the annunciator knobs to reflect 
the uses and names of their period. The continued existence 
of the Lockwood children names, indicates this was never 
done. Secondly, in a written reminisce by Florence Mathews 

she writes about the second summer in the house (1878), and 

10 7 
reports a successful robbery. If the alarm system had 

malfunctioned or contrary to general practice, was not on at 

the time, one would expect Florence to mention that fact, 

which she does not. 

Figiore 36: Servants quarters annunciator, shelf and supporting bracket. 


Fiyuie 37: Zoiiiiiy cuiiLrol kiiob aiid yhost iiiiaye ol aiuiuiiciaLor shell. 

Annunciator knobs suygest a second, minor inconsisten- 
cy in room usage theory. On the first floor, opposite the 
main stair to the basement is a small room, now the Educa- 
tion Curator's office, called 'estate office or breakfast 
room'. No such title appears on the annunciator. What does 
appear is "Billiard and Lunch Room." The billiards rooms 
are in fact a neighbor, therefore it is proposed that this 
room's original function was as a lunch room. 

Except where there are highly decorative floors or 
where wall-to wall carpeting is currently installed - floor 
embedded wires are apparent throughout the building. At two 
locations in the house Roman numerals are carved in floor- 


boards. (Figure 38) First, below a window in Mr. Lock- 
wood's bedroom the numerals I, II, III and IV are carved in 
the floor. At this point each of the three wires disappears 
into a hole in the floor. Presumably, they go down to 
service the first floor and basement. The second marking, 
IX is in the room which today is referred to as the Moorish 
room. These types of markings were not found at any of the 
other sites and their significance is unknown. 

Bowne House 
Flushing, New York 

Bowne house is one of the few remaining examples of a 
vernacular building type combining a mixture of Dutch and 
English characteristics, common in Long Island at an early 
date. The original eastern wing, built around 1661 and 
enlarged circa 1669, joins the larger western wing, (built 
1680, added to 1695 and altered around 1830) by an irregular 
sloped two and one-half foot wide roof. (Figure 39) Former- 
ly part of a 200 acre farm, Bowne House located in Flushing, 
in what is now the borough of Queens stands on a lot less 
than one-half acre in size. The house survived massive 
urbanization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when 
little else did, and today is one of the few relatively open 
spaces in a area dominated by multi-story apartment blocks. 
John Bowne (16277-1695), an early settler on Long Island, 
was an important, although today, little known figure in the 
early history of America. After his death the house passed 


T •2,'' -"'"'^I^i-- 

Fiyuie 38: Top: Raiiaii numerals I, II, HI, IV carved into floor below 
window in Mr. Lockwood's bedroom. Bottom: Roman numeral IX (or XI) 
carved into floor of Moorish room. 


through several generations of the Bowne family and into the 
Parson's name, until it was sold to the Bowne House Histor- 
ical Society on May 2, 1946.^°-^ 

Holmes's 1868 booklet lists Samuel B. Parsons, Flush- 
ing, LI, as a subscriber therefore it is fairly certain he 
was responsible for the installation of the system. 
However, during the 1860s there was shared ownership of the 
property and the identities of other family members/owners 
who may have resided at the house and for which years is 

Window and door contacts outwardly appear to be iden- 
tical to those at previous case studies. The evidence of 
floor wires at Bowne House however, differs. In spite of the 
absence of decorative flooring, wires only appear in a 
limited number of rooms. "^^^ (Figure 40) This suggests that 
floorboards and windows have been replaced since the system 
was installed. Or, perhaps, this location illustrates a 
system applied to only portions of a house. This practice 
is suggested by Holmes when he states, "it is particularly 
valuable to connect with the doors of private rooms, bed- 
rooms, drawers in your furniture, closets where silver ware, 
jewelry and other valuables are kept, because when the door 

is shut and the alarm set, visitors, servants, relatives or 

•ilO 7 
domestics cannot open them without giving the alarm. 

Because of the shared ownership of Bowne House at this time, 

the configuration of the wires suggest that there might have 


Figure 39: Bowne House, exterior 

been two independent households in residence and perhaps, 
the way in which they divided the house. Although no Bownes 
or Parsons appear in the 1861 Holmes list, xt is suspected 
that this house represents a fairly early installation, 

possibly between 1861 and 1853. First, floor grooves are not 

10 8 
nearly as regular (Figure 41) as at the other sites. 

Second, rather than concealed wires traveling between 

flours, at the Bowne House a set of exposed tracks is carved 

intL wall. These two pieces of evidence -- although not 

conclusive -- suggest lower level skills on the part of the 

installer. This may be understandable for a house in the 

hinterlands, away from the most competent and experienced 

Bowne House 



Floor vires visible -r-_r'^ 
Contact switch • 

Nail wires X. 

Figure 40: Remnants svurvey, first and second floor plains. Location of 
accessible system rennants indicated. 


Figure 41: Bowne House floor wiring. 

technicians. However, Bowne house is in fact the case study 
closest to Holmes's home office, and therefore, it is sug- 
gested that the quality of the workmanship is as a result of 
reduced collective {or corporate) skills and techniques, 
rather than a single installer's lack of competency. 

John Fraser House 
Riverton, New Jersey 

The small rural conmnnunity of Riverton, New Jersey, was 

founded in 1851 by ten men who engaged architect Samuel 

Sloan to design a village of summer houses. This community 

was the first wholly planned residential sub-division in 

America. Its proximity to Philadelphia -- only thirty 


minutes by train and forty-five minutes by steamboat -- made 
possible commuting to Philadelphia and points beyond. 

An Italianate villa (Figure 42) was constructed for 
James Clothier, a founder of Strawbridge and Clothier, but 
was actually occupied by his brother, Caleb. The house, one 
lot away from the yacht club and the Delaware River was 
built in 1853 and is also believed to have been designed by 
Samuel Sloan. Evidence suggests that by 1860 the house was 
rented to the architect John Fraser, and subsequently (1866) 
it was purchased by him. At that time, Fraser was reported 

to have made extensive improvements to the property 


Figure 42: John Fraser House, exterior. 


John Eraser's architectural career spanned some fifty 
years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the turn of the 
twentieth. Fraser began practicing in Philadelphia in the 
early 1850s. He was, for a short time, in partnership with 
Andrew Palles and was a founding member, in 1861, of the 
Pennsylvania Institute of Architects, an organization which 
fell apart because of the Civil War. 

Following the Civil War, Fraser was joined, first by 
George Hewitt and later Frank Furness, to form, in 1868, the 
firm of Fraser, Furness and Hewitt. The firm only lasted 
until 1871. At the beginning of the 1870s Fraser maintained 
offices in both Washington and in Philadelphia. In 1873, he 
apparently was working exclusively out of Washington, D.C., 
and continued to do so throughout the 1880s until he re- 
turned to Philadelphia in 1890 to practice as John Fraser 
and Son. 

Although Fraser's work was centered in Washington, his 
personal life continued to be centered around his Riverton 
house. After the death of his only son in 1895, Fraser grew 
despondent and his health deteriorated. In 1897 the Fraser 
property was sold at a sheriff's sale to F.H. Hallowell, 
although the Fraser family (he, his wife and an only remain- 
ing daughter) continued to reside there as tenants until 
around 1903 when they moved to Philadelphia. Fraser died 
there in 1905. 


In 1907 the house was sold to Maclean Jones who made 
extensive repairs and improvements. The house was broken up 
into apartments in 1925. Currently the owner, Louise Love, 
resides on the first floor and the second and third floors 
are divided into two apartments each. 

In the section of Holmes's 1868 brochure dedicated to 

"Philadelphia Names" is found this testimonial from John 

Fraser : 

430 Walnut St., Philadelphia, April 27th, 1868 

Mr. E. Holmes, Esq., -Dear Sir: - I consider 
your Burglar Alarm Telegraph a very important pro- 
tection to my house. 

The time required to take care of it I think 
would not exceed one hour in the course of a year. 

It was neatly, carefully, and without damage or 
inconvenience, applied to my house at Riverton, 
N.J., and is applicable to all first-class houses. 

It has given me entire satisfaction, and is the 
best Burglar Alarm that I know of. 
Yours Respectfully, 

John Fraser, Architect 

It is suspected that the alarm was installed in 1866, 
after Fraser actually purchased the house. Certainly, the 
installation was prior to April 1868, the date of Eraser's 
testimonial letter. Although it is certain that this house 
had had an alarm applied to it, the current owner did not 
recall ever seeing any of the component hardware. After 
subsequent correspondence and conversation she became in- 
trigued with the project and invited the author to visit. As 
it turns out, the system remnants at the John Fraser House 
are so totally obscured (more so than at any of the other 


case studies) that unless a specific search is diligently 
conducted, evidence of the system would be easy to overlook. 

Through the years, this house has undergone extensive 
remodeling and repairs. On those windows and doors which 
are original multiple paint layers very nearly succeed at 
obscuring evidence of the contact switches. Close examina- 
tion did reveal that most of the first floor doors, and 
several windows on the first and second floors did still 
carry their hardware -- plate-type contacts on the window 
frames and dotting switches in the door frame. The third 
floor, as expected, revealed no evidence of a system. 

Generally, the most obvious indication of a system is 
the floor embedded wires. At the Fraser house virtually 
every floor surface is covered with tile, wall-to-wall 
carpeting or linoleum. One second floor room has just a 
large area rug and still, in the visible flooring - no 
evidence . 

In the living room, bench type seating is built into 
the bay window alcoves. The seats lift up and underneath is 
storage space. Here, finally were found the two tell-tale 
wires leading to the window. (Figure 43) If floor covers 
were removed it is suspected that examination of wiring 
patterns would suggest original room configuration. The lack 
of visible installation evidence shows just how easy it is 
to obscure system remnants. 


Figure 43: Evidence of floor wiring hidden by built-in bench storage. 

Newport, Rhode Island 

The bustling port City of Newport, Rhode Island, had 
its economy devastated during the Revolution, only to re- 
bound just prior to the Civil War when it became a popular 
summer resort. The forces of urbanization and industrializa- 
tion which introduced a rising class of industrialists 
elsewhere in the first half of the nineteenth century large- 
ly passed by Newport. The elite of Newport society were 
still playing the role of the eighteenth-century gentry 
whose wealth was based on commerce and local activities and 
not on new industry. 


The new wealth which did come to Newport, beginning in 
the second quarter of the nineteenth century, was attracted 
by pleasant climate and superb beaches. Investments were 
made in resort-related activities rather than in manufactur- 
ing. After 1845, Newport was increasingly involved in specu- 
lation and building associated with the rise of its resort 
business, catering to wealthy vacationers from New York, 
Boston and the South. 

In 1851, the local speculators Smith and Baily, pur- 
chased 140 acres of land which would become Bellevue Avenue, 
Newport's street of millionaires. In 1852 Daniel Parish ( ? 
- 1879) was among the first twelve persons to purchase a lot 
and to erect an expansive and impressive summer cottage. 

Daniel Parish was a New York merchant. Between 1852 
and 1853 Parish engaged Andrew Jackson Downing and Calvert 
Vaux to design a house for him on Bellevue Avenue overlook- 
ing the ocean. This house, pictured in Villas and Cottages 
was totally destroyed by fire in 1855. Vaux subsequently 
rebuilt the house, duplicating the original plans, however, 
locating it closer to the sea and away from Bellevue Avenue 
on the site. (Figure 44) This home was just a summer resi- 
dence for Parish. ^-'■^ 

After Parish's death in 1879, the house was purchased 
by William Bachouse Astor, Jr. for $190,991.50. Between 
1888 and 1890 the house was substantially remodeled and 
redecorated by his wife Caroline. When Mrs. Astor died in 


Figure 44. Beechwood, exterior. 

1908 the house was inherited by John Jacob Astor IV and 
remained in the Astor family until 1937. It has subsequently 
changed hands several times, before becoming the home of the 
Beechwood Theater Company. While currently open to the 
public for tours it is not operating as a museum. The resi- 
dent theater group recreates the Astor's life style of the 
1890s. They incorrectly interpret what remains of their 
alarm system as a maid call device. 

In the Beechwood installation, the floor wires follow 
patterns similar to those at the previous sites. The switch 
annunciator is not in its original location, it has been 
mounted on a board which is hung like a picture in the 


second floor hallway. (Figure 8, page 29, top) This twelve 
knob version measures 4 3/4" in diameter and still has eight 
of the room indicator knobs in place. These read as fol- 
lows: Parlor and Dining room; Laundry; Basement Doors; 
Library and Recreation Room; Our Room; Mr. P. Jr's Room; 
Nursery; and NE Spare Room. 

Dotting type contact switches were present on casement 
windows but because of design (See Figure 20, page 42) it 
was not possible to examine the switch on the double hung 
windows. Although Daniel Parish does not appear on the 
subscriber list, because these features match so precisely 
the known Holmes installations it is almost certainly a 
Holmes installation. The system was probably installed 
after the Your Attention booklet was published in 1868 and 
before Holmes introduced his drop annunciator in the 1870s. 
An inventory prepared at the death Daniel Parish, shows a 
third floor room as the "burglars alarm storeroom." However, 
nothing listed in the room contents is related to the alarm. 
Because this floor is currently used for actors' housing it 
was not available for examination. If this third floor area 
is alarmed it would be unique among the case study houses. 

Armour-Stiner (Octagon) House 
Irvington-On-Hudson , New York 

The five-story, twenty-five room Armour-Stiner (Octa- 
gon) House is perched on a hill overlooking the Hudson River 


in the Town of I rvington-On-Hudson, New York. This area and 
the surrounding hills were, beginning in the mid-nineteenth 
century, a popular summer retreat. Situated on the east 
bank of the Hudson River, the location is just twenty miles 
north of New York City, an hour away by train. 

Here, in 1853, Paul J. Armour {18307-1886) purchased 
four plots of land on West Clinton Avenue. Armour was a 
banker and broker with offices in lower Manhattan. Between 
1858 and 1860 he constructed a two-story octagon house. 
Octagon houses had become a popular form of construction 
following the publication of Orson Squire Fowler's The 
Octagon House , A Home for Al 1 (1848). Fowler claimed that 
eight-sided houses, in addition to being more efficient and 
economical, were healthier. Armour's house, a modest two- 
story structure was originally built five feet above ground 
level and therefore, the basement was made a fully function- 
al space through numerous windows which provided light and 
ventilation. The main entrance faced Clinton Avenue. 

Armour died in 1866, but his family remained in the 
house until 1872, when the house was sold to Joseph H. 
Stiner (1827-1897). Stiner, a prominent New York City tea 
and spice merchant, purchased the house as a weekend re- 
treat. He immediately undertook extensive renovations and 
expansion of the house. The present-day structure was 
created by adding the dome with cupola and verandah as well 
as reorienting the entrance to the house. (Figure 45) 


Figure 45: Armour Stiner, exterior. 

These alterations were so extensive that the entire struc- 
ture was effectively rebuilt and therefore the house is 
considered an 1872 construction. Although hundreds of 
octagon houses were built, the Armour-Stiner House was quite 
distinctive and is thought to be the only fully domed octag- 
onal residence in the world. 


In 1881 Stiner suffered a series of financial reverses 
which led, in 1882, to the sale of the house to George W. 
Dibble (1848-1917). The house once again became a year- 
round residence. There were several additional owners 
before the house was purchased, in 1979, by its current 
owner, Joseph Pell Lombardi . Lombardi , a preservation 
architect has spent much of the ensuing time researching and 
restoring the house to its 1872 appearance. 

While the exact date of this alarm installation is 
unknown it is expected that the system was added as a part 
of Stiner's major remodeling in 1872. Windows and doors 
which were first introduced during this remodeling are 
alarmed so the installation certainly is no earlier than 
1872. Floor-embedded wires identical to those previously 
seen are found throughout much of the first floor. Accord- 
ing to the owner, wires were only present at one spot on 
the second floor. This area was the sitting room of the 
master suite, and therefore, the expected location of the 
annunciator -- which is no longer present. Because of the 
raised basement configuration, this second floor is effec- 
tively equivalent to the third floor at the other houses and 
therefore would not be expected to be alarmed. Examination 
of windows for confirmation was not, however possible. 

Dotting contact switches, in addition to being found 
on the exterior doors, and casement windows in the basement 
were also found on several interior doors in the basement. 


The original room usage -- as a wine cellar and as the 
mechanical or furnace room helps in understanding the place- 
ment of these contacts. (Figure 46) Alarming the door to the 
wine cellar allowed for monitoring access of the servants. 
The mechanical room with its coal shoot might have permitted 
entry to the building. By alarming the interior door an 
intruder could proceed no further without detection. These 
door switches, although identical in appearance to those in 
the previously discussed case studies, differed slightly in 
their application. Where previously the contacts are locat- 
ed approximately six inches above the floor, at Armour 
Stiner all the basement contacts are found about six inches 
from the top of the door. Presumably the wires were snaked 
through the wall to this contact point from above. Certain- 
ly, it would have been easier to locate the contact at the 
top of the door frame rather than the bottom. 

The most perceptible difference at this installation 
is the window contact switch. Although located in the same 
position as the plate type contacts, here, the appearance 
differs. A piece of springy metal approximately 1/2 inch 
wide by 2 1/2 inches long is affixed at its lower end by two 
screws. (Figure 47) The thread wrapped wire can be seen 
leading to these screws. No patent has been found for this 
type of contact. However, this form of the contact switch 
appears to be similar, if not identical, to that described 
in the 1853 Pope patent. (Figure 16, page 38) Although this 


First Floor 



Floor wires visible 
(not to sc3\e}:=-— ■ 

Contact switch • 

Ainnour-St ineir Octagon House 

Figure 46: Remnants survey, basannent and first floor plans. Location of 
accessible system evidence indicated. 


installation is undoubtedly post-1872 the technology of the 
window contact bears more of a resemblance to the earliest 
contact forms than to the latter versions. For this reason, 
it is suspected that this particular system was installed by 
a competitor of Holmes who might still have been using an 
older form of the technology. 

Figure 47: Window contact switch. 


Maish House 
Des Moines, Iowa 

In 1870 George H. Maish (1835-?), recognizing "condi- 
tions and opportunities in different parts of the country" 
moved from Pennsylvania (where he was born), to Des Moines, 
Iowa. He was determined "to try his future in the west, 
where he believed superior advantages were offered." At 
first, he was engaged in the drug business with his 
brother-in-law Charles A. Weaver, and in 1875 he was among 
the group of men who organized the Iowa National Bank of Des 
Moines and was elected to the position of Cashier. He went 
on to become prominent in the financial and business circles 
of the city.^^^ 

In 1882 Maish completed the construction of a new 
house for his family. The two story house with a cellar is 
believed, to be the first house in the area with a burglar 
alarm. Georgia Elizabeth Maish, daughter of George recount- 
ed, "how she was awakened one night by the bell, jumped out 
of bed and ran to the window. From the window she saw a man 
running thru the backyard away from the house. The family 
were very pleased to know the alarm really worked ."■'■■'■ '^ 

The house, at 1623 Center is currently owned by Ralph 
Gross and has the remains of a Western Electric alarm sys- 
tem. It is suspected that this system was installed at the 
time the house was constructed, in 1882. The 9-needle annun- 
ciator with bell (See figure 25, page 52, left) is virtu- 


ally identical to the annunciator depicted first in the 1877 
Western Electric catalog and again in their 1883 catalog. 
Room titles (or zones) appearing on the annunciator are: 
Parlor and Sitting Room; Library; Dining Room and Kitchen; 
Inside Door; South East Chambers; West Chamber; Bed and Baby 
Room; Northwest Chamber, and Back Door. The system is 
connected to all the windows and doors including the inter- 
nal doors. Contact switches in the doors are brass dotting 
contacts 3 1/4" high by approximately 3/4" wide. The 
window contacts are double sash compressible triangles. (See 
figure 28, page 58) 

Unlike all of the previous case studies, the connect- 
ing wires are not floor-embedded; they travel instead to the 
attic and then descend to the various levels of the house. 
The wire is 18 gage wrapped in thread and color coded, one 
white (the common), one black, with positive leads connected 
in the attic to one white wire leading to the annunciator. 
In order to accommodate passage between floors holes 3/8" 
wide are bored through the flooring for each wire which are 
then stapled along interior studs. There are nine circuits 
throughout the house, delineated primarily by room.-'--^^ 

Two of the circuits have been recently repaired. The 
others have been tested, and in the majority there are 
shorts. The most common shorts are in the switches at the 
windows. The springs that hold the contacts out (open) are 
broken and thus short those circuits. 


Rhinebeck, New York 

In 1846, Thomas Holy Suckley received a substantial 
inheritance from his father George Suckley, who made a 
fortune investing in Manhattan and New Jersey real estate. 
Joining the rich and fashionable in their up-river migra- 
tion, Thomas Suckley, in 1852, built a house on a 35 acre 
site set high on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River in 
Rhinebeck, New York. The house, known as Wilderstein, was 
designed by architect John Warren Ritch. This modest Ital- 
ianate villa was "two stories high and had a low Tuscan roof 
resting on moulded right-angle brackets.' 

Upon Thomas's death in 1888, Robert Bowne Suckley, 
his second, and only surviving son, took possession of 
Wilderstein. Within a year he had transformed it into the 
Queen Anne mansion seen today. "The roof was taken off and 
the walls raised with an overhanging third story and gabled 
attic. An entrance porte cochere, a tower, and a service 
wing were added, and the verandahs extended and profusely 
decorated. "■'■■'■'' (Figure 48) 

Robert and his wife, Elizabeth Philips Montgomery had 
seven children. Their eldest daughter, Margaret Lynch Suck- 
ley (born 1891) resides at Wilderstein. In 1983 a non-profit 
organization, Wilderstein Preservation, dedicated to saving 
the house was incorporated. Miss Suckley gave the house and 
property to the organization while retaining a life tenancy. 


fl Iti B i|fl 



lllUlii)-:ii;i;!(i ll;: 

Figure 48: Wilderstein, west elevation, 1975 HABS. Reprinted from Cyn- 
thia Owen Philip, Wilderstein: The Creation of a Hudson River Villa, The 
Hudson Valley Regional Review (September, 1990), 22. 

Family records indicate that in December 1888 Robert 
Suckley himself directed the installation of the heating, 

burglar alarm and bell systems for the main house making 

this the latest (or youngest) of the case studies. The 

alarm system chosen was Western Electric and like the Maish 
house, wiring was not exposed; door contacts appear un- 
changed. Both double and single sash window contacts are 


present, although only the single was available to the 
author for examination. The exposed surface indicates it 
was patented December 23, 1884. There is no patent number 
or patentee name so the exact patent has not been identi- 
fied. However, it bears a resemblance to a contact manufac- 
tured by E.S. Greeley in 1890. (See Figure 27, page 56) 

Wilderstein has two annunciators, similar, although 
not identical in appearance to each other. One was for the 
burglar alarm and the second for the maid call. The maid 
call device remains mounted in the present day pantry and 
bears the names of each first floor room. The burglar alarm 
annunciator was at some past time disconnected and is cur- 
rently stored in the attic. It is an 8-needle variety with 
clock attachment. (See figure 25, page 52) There is a sepa- 
rate, wall-mounted bell in the second floor landing which 
was presumably attached to the alarm system. Annunciator 
titles read: Kail, Dining Room, Library, Drawing Room, 
Kitchen, Laundry and Cellar -- indicating that the cellar 
was alarmed while the second floor was not. Although still 
battery powered, this Western Electric system was evidently 
supplied by Leclanche Batteries. 

At its inception alarm technology, like any other, had 
room for substantial improvement -- there were numerous 
flaws to be corrected before a mature and reliable product 


evolved. In 1881, when reporting about electric burglar 
alarms. Popular Science Monthly , summarizes the industry's 
development up to that point. "In its earliest forms there 
were many defects, but in a development of twenty years 
these have been mostly corrected. It has now attained a 
simplicity of construction and certainly of action that make 

it one of the more useful and trustworthy of man's servi- 

ti 1 20 
tors. Through patent analysis, examination of extant 

remains and trade catalogs this paper has sought to enumer- 
ate the technological progression which this building system 
underwent during its formative years. 

Patent analysis reveals what was developed, when, and 
how it worked; it does not however, show if an "item" ever 
went beyond research and development and into commercial 
production. By using these seven case studies and trade 
catalogs from the 1860s through the 1880s, the development 
chain was expanded beyond what patents alone can reveal. The 
resulting hardware chronology, although not comprehensive, 
revealed that some alarm system components stayed the same 
while others evolved dramatically. 

Understanding how early electric burglar alarms worked 
and how the hardware developed can, in conjunction with 
archival documentation, be used as a tool to either answer 
or suggest interpretive questions. This tool seems particu- 
larly well suited to understanding space utilization and 
changes over time. The degree to which this happens appears 


to have a direct correlation to the extent of the archival 
documentation available. 

Unfortunately, despite all of the historic materials 
uncovered, the true effectiveness of these early alarms 
(those of the first generation; 1850s, 60s and 70s) has yet 
to be adequately documented. How well or effectively the 
earliest systems worked or how quickly they were integrated 
into daily life, is still unknown but it is an important 
part of the story, deserving additional research. 

The Holmes pamphlets list over two hundred testimoni- 
als. Only a small fraction of these specifically mention 
actual alarm incidents. Many of these letters were solicit- 
ed, those published were probably hand chosen and edited. 
The accuracy and representative nature of these incidents 
can not be assured. 

Anecdotal episodes reported in other sources might go 
a long way towards explaining at what point the systems 
became consistently reliable and effective. Unfortunately, 
to date, besides those appearing in the Holmes testimonials, 
very few references to activated alarms have surfaced. Two, 
however, should be mentioned. P.T. Barnum had a Holmes 
system in his Bridgeport, Connecticut home."'"^-'- In his auto- 
biography. Struggles and Triumphs he briefly mentions an 
instance when his alarm went off and he was able successful- 
ly to scare off the intruders. 


My house was provided with a magnetic burglar alarm 
and one night the faithful bell sounded. I was 
instantly on my feet and summoning my servants, one 
ran and rung the large bell on the lawn which served 
in the day time to call my coachman from the stable, 
another turned on the gas, while I fired a gun out 
of the window and I then went to the top of the 
house and set off several rockets. The whole region 
round about was instantly aroused; dogs barked, 
neighbors half-dressed but armed, flocked over to my 
grounds, every time a rocket went up, and I was by 
no means sparing of my supply; the whole place was 
as light as day, and in the general glare and confu- 
sion we caught sight of the two retreating burglars, 
one running one way, the other another way, and both 
as fast as their legs could carry them; nor do I 
believe that the panic-stricken would be plunderers 
stopped running till they reached New York. 

Unfortunately, the successful sounding of the alarm is only 
used in this story to set the stage for P.T. Barnums' re- 
counting a somewhat unrealistic fireworks extravaganza. 

The experiences recounted by Mark Twain in his short 
story "The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm" (Appendix Z) 
were not nearly as complementary. A Readers Guide to the 
Short Stories of Mark Twain , claims that all three stories 
written about the McWilliams family between 1875 and 1882, 
were actually a reflection of Twain's own domestic life. 
This particular story greatly embellishes the difficulties 
of a mechanical system which never seems to work right. 
Because this story takes a frustrating situation and turns 
it into comedy, suggests that is has a basis in fact, to 
which the reading public could relate. 



Preservationists have been slow to acknowledge "secu- 
rity" as a building system worthy of their attention. 
However, it should be recognized that to the degree permit- 
ted first, by technology and second, by an owner's financial 
means, builders have provided for protection of possessions 
and persons throughout history. Since the colonial era 
these domestic security measures have taken a variety of 
forms. Included are architectural means: doors and shut- 
ters; mechanical means: locks and bells; landscape tech- 
niques: including fences and planting patterns and finally, 
electrical devices . While this examination of electric 
burglar alarms represents only a small portion of the com- 
plete chronology, the scholarly evaluation of building 
systems from any period should consider security provisions. 

Patent review and case studies have been used in the 
preceding analysis to provide an understanding of how alarm 
devices worked and evolved. This detailed knowledge is 
essential to the process of interpreting or preserving a 
surviving system. Edwin Holmes refined and improved the 
methods both for detecting and reporting burglaries. Al- 
though the technology has improved substantially, the range 


of burglar alarm services which he developed are still in 
use today. 

However, without a basic understanding of the larger 
social context or cultural environment in which these de- 
vices were used, it is easy to ignore or misunderstand 
system remnants. The last half of the nineteenth century was 
thought of by many as a crime free, idyllic time. Where 
hardware is present, the tendency has been to mistake it as 
belonging to a different system or to a later period. 

This examination of the Holmes electro-magnetic bur- 
glar alarm telegraph has provided evidence clearly indicat- 
ing that electric burglar alarm technology was more wide 
spread and existed at an earlier date than is generally 
expected. In fact, the introduction of this type of system 
into the home is an example of an early, if not the earli- 
est, use of electricity in a domestic application. This 
technology predates, by almost thirty years the advent of 
electrical lighting. 


almes Controlled 

Patents, 1853 - 1893 

[assigned to Edwin T. Holmes] 
Edwin Holmes 61 

Edwin Holmes & Henry C. Rooms B'l 

Edwin Holmes & Henry C. Roome IIC 

Edwin Holrr 

Telegraph Co.] 
Oct. 28 

Telegraph Co.] 


Electro-Magnetic Envelopes for Safes, Vault 



-Alarms and Signals 

Electric Linings for Safes 
Electro-Magnetic Burglar-Proof Cur 

Electric Indicators for Elevators 
Electro-Magnetic Annunciators 

ftbram Herzberg 

125,679 April 16. 1872 

8.753 June 17, 1879 
Burglar Alarm Telegraph Co.] 

8.754 June 17 , 1879 
Burglar Alarm Telegraph Co.] 

ally Regulating the Flame of 

[assigned half 

[assigned half 

T. Greenfi 

Aug. 11, 1885 

for Laying Telegraph-Wi 


Frank G. Lyon 

to Holmes Ele 

April 11, 1893 

Appendix B 

U.S. Patent No. 9,802 
Augustus R. Pope, of Somerville, Massachusetts 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Alarms 

June 21, 1853 


United States Patent Office. 


Spocilication formiiip ]ii\it of I.rltors r;ilii,l Xo. 0,80*i, (tnlcil .Iiiiio '.'1, \>■:>^. 

'T<y(iH n-hoiii it viay cnuccrn: 

Beit kiuiwii Hint I, Augustus U. I'oi'i'-, of 
Somervillc. in tlio county of Middlesex and 
State of Miissaelmsctts, have invented a new 
and useful oriniptovcd Map;netic Alarm, to be 
applied to either a door era window, or both, of 
a (Iwellinfr-liousc orother buildinjr,f'ortlicpur- 
pose of f^ivinj;- an alarm in case of burglarious 
or other attempts to enter the same throu^li 
said door or window by opening said door (U' 
window ; and I do hereby declare I hat the same 
is fully described and repiesenteil in the follow- 
inj:; si>cci(ioatiou and the accompanying draw- 
ings, letters, lignres, and references thereof. 

Of the said drawings, Figure 1 repi(!senls 
an elevation of a door and window and my 
ai)i)aratus as a|iplied thereto. Fig. '2 is a ver- 
tical and transverse sectioii-t-ahi^n through ihe 
spring circuit-breaker to lie hereinafter de- 
scribed. Fig. o is a vertical section of the ap- 
paratus hereinafter termed Lhe " key" as ap- 
plied to the door. Fig. 4 is a section of the. 
same as applied to the window. 

In the said drawings, A represents a door, 
of wliich 15 is the frame, thesamc being shown 
as fitted into the wall. ]) Vj and V are win- 
dow-sashos of a window-frame, (1. 

n is an electro • magnet, fastened to llic 
side of Ihe wall in a convenient posilicm, and 
having a beli, I, arranged over or near to it. 
One of the pole-wires leading from an electric 
battery is seen at K. It extends to and winds 
around the magnet and passes upward over 
the bell and window-frame, and thence down- 
\TP.rd into thedoor-frame, where itisconnec^led 
to a small stationary metallic plate, L, as seen 
ia tbo drawings. The plate l.i ia fastened in 
tiie door-frame and forms a jiart of the appara- 
tus which I term the " key." The said key is 
otherwise composed of a metallic spring, M, 
ouo end of wliich is made to bear against the 
plato Ij, while the other or lower end is fast- 
ened to the door-frame, the spring being fixed 
in a recess, N, made in the door-frame. 

In Fig. 5 a transverse section of the door- 
frarao is given, with the door iei)resenlcd as 
oiicti. The inner edge of the door has a sinali 
stud or [liii, O, jirojecting Iron; it, which con- 
stitutes a part of tiio key, and when the door 
is closed i)reKses against tho.'jpring .M of the 
key and bears it away from contact with the 
plate U, Ah soon as the door is opened a very 

short disi.Miec the stud will be .so moved away 
from the sjjrlng as to allow ihespiing to come 
in contact with the jdatn 1/. From tlie lower 
liart of the spring a wire, F, extends nearly to 
the lower ))ole, of the magnet and toward and 
against what 1 term tlie " spring cirenit- 
breaker," which consists of a inetallicspring, (^, 
cxtendeil upward fiom the oilier batlery-cir- 
taiil wire, l!. 

To the magnet there is applied a movable 
pi'iidnhms .•innatiiie, S, which vibrates on a 
pin. T, and liasa hammer, I", (!Xt<Mided upward 
IVcmi il and low.ard and witiiin a siiort distance 
from Ihe under side of the bell. When this 
Irammcr is at rest, or down to its lowest, posi- 
ti(m it is retained there by a stop-pin, \', 
against which the lower part of the armature 
of Lhe magnet rests nndersnch circnmslaiicc.S. 

The form and shape of the circuit-breaker 
and its relative position with lespect to thcav- 
mature and the wire P that leads from thespiing 
of the key are in the drawings. 

The top of the spring circuit-breaker is 
loiincd with a small projection, a, which ex- 
tends into jiart of the armature, so that when 
said armature is moved toward the magnet the 
projection of the cir(niitbreaker will be struck 
by the arm so as lo m<i\e tiie circuit-breaker 
out. of contact with tin! end of lhe wire 1*. 

The above constitutes lhe, alarm apparatus 
as applieil to a door. In the application of it 
lo a window llio wire 1' or anotlu-r wire, X, 
leading u)) from it, may be extended into the 
window-frame and connected with the lower 
end of a metallic spring, h, ai'ranged on the 
inside or i>ulh'y stile of theframe and made to 
bear against the edge of a sash, the said edge 
being so Jbrmed or shaped Inat while the win- 
dow is in the act of Iji^g raised it shall pres.s 
the spring toward and against the end of an- 
other wire, Y, extended down from the wire K 
before named, or is an exiension of said wire 
when the api>aratns is to bo a[)|)lied to a win- 
dow alone. The spring and contrivan(;c i\>r 
moving it, as above desci ibeil, as applied to a 
window, constitale what 1 term llu- "key."' 

The operation of the apparatus is as follows: 
While the tloor is closinl or the window-sash 
down the magnetic circuit is broken, iiecause 
the spring of the key is Ihrowii nut (d'conn.;(; 
ti(ni with the iipiier wire <if the door ov win- 
dow frame; but as soon as the door is opeiwnl 


or the\Bh ,-oil so as to nllo^r tlio 
spring of tho key (o omc into contact with 
the upper wire or Ujo inctnllic pinto nt tho 
lower 011(1 thereof, the circuit will bo closoil, 
tho current of electricity being nmdo to flow 
through the circuitbrciikcr and nrounil tiio 
magnet. As soon as this takes place tho mag- 
net becomes clmrgod and draws the arniatiiro 
toward it, and tlicrcby throws the hainnior of 
tho boll against the "bell. During the inovo- 
incnt of the armature toward tiic magnet it 
throws or moves the circuit-breaker out of con- 
uection or contact with the wire 1', whereby 
tlie circuit will be again broken, soiis to dcinag- 
iictizo the rnngiict and allow tlic armature to 
fall back until the ciixMiit-brealcer again comes 
in contact with tlie wire 1", and ilicrchy closes 
the electric circuit and produces another blow 
of tho hammer on the bell. Thus a constant 
succession of blows of the hammer on llu; bell 
will bo luoduccd. 
}ij' my apparatus I dispense with the use of ' 

olook-woik 01' ( ,ppflralas to Hug the bell 

through thottffehuf ortheffllildR of nweltfbt Of 
Uhcolliiig of rt flitrliitf, the liatnmcr beltip keot 
ill nctioti oti the bell «-hilo the hAil&tv cohti'i- 
lies to fiirtiiflli eleeltielty tun] the door or <ti((. 

dow ia opChi 

I chiim— ; 

For tho pijfpoae of riiigihg (ho bell, tho com- 
binntinii of tlio movrtble or vibrfttiiig nrnifitiire 
nnd tho Bprlii;^ olroiilt-brenker with tho Imm- 
mcr of tho bell, tlio samo to bo used In con- 
ncclion with (ho cloctro-inagnet circuit-wires 
and a key, as described, »i)plied to n door or 
window, tho whole being nuido to operalo to- 
gether substantiallv in manner and for the 
purpose as specilled. 

Jn testiruoiiy whereof I have IilmcIo st-t my 
siguatnrc tli-, 27lh diivof October, A. D. 18."/' 

Witnesses : 

U. JJ. Eduv, 
(jKO. W. CiJTr.Krt. 


No. 9,802. 

A. R. POPE. 

Patented June 21, 1S&5/ 







1 . 





1 11 




( 113) 

Appendix C 

U.K. Patent No. 1,7 95 

Augustus Russell Pope, of the State of Massachusetts 
of the United States of America 

Electro-Magnetic Alarum 

August 1, 1853 


A.D. 1853 N" 1795. 

Electro-Magnetic Alarum. 

LETTERS PATENT to Aug-u^tus Russell Pope, of llie State of 
Massachusetts, of the United States of America, for the Inven- 
tion of " A New and Useful or Improved Electro-Magnetic 
Alarm Apparatus, to ee applied to a Door or Window, ok r-oiH, 
OF a Dwelling House or other Building, for the PuRro.'iE of 
Giving an Alarm in case of an Attempt to Open said Door or 

Sealed the 6th October 1853, and dated the 1st Au^-ust 1853. 

PEOVISIONAL SPECIFICATION left by the said Augustus Russell 
Pope at the Office of the Commissioners of Patents, with his 
Petition, on the 1st August 1853. 

I, Augustus Russell Pope, of the State of Massachusetts, of the 
5 United States of America, do hereby declare the nature of mv 
Invention of "A New and Useful or Improved Electro-Magnetic 
Alarm Apparatus, to be applied, to a Door or Windov/^, or both, of a 
Dwelling House or other Building, for the Purpose of Giving an Alarm 
IN CASE OF an Attempt to Open said Door or Window," to be as follows, 
that is to say : — 


A.D. 1853.— N° 1795. 

Pojje's Improvements in Electro-Magnetic Alarm Apparatus. 

My said apparatus consists of an automatic or self-acting kev applied 
to the door oj- window, a set of circuit wires, an electric or galvanic 
battery and an electro-magnet connected together and with the said 
key by such circuit wires, an alarm bell hammer, and an armature for 
the magnet, sucl: armature being; attached to the hammer or a pro- 5 
jection therefroin, and finally a spring circuit breaker; the said key to 
be so made and applied to the door or window as not only to cause the 
electric circuit to be completed or closed whenever the door or window 
is in the act of being opened, but to cause it to be broken or opened 
whenever the door or window is closed. The circuit breaker consists 10 
of a spring extended up from the end of one of the battery circuit wires, 
and made to rest against the end of the other wire. It'has a projection 
on it which is extended into the path of movement of the armature, so 
that when the armature is drawn towards the magnet it shall move the 
circuit breaker out of contact with the circuit wire against which it 15 

The armature of the magnet is a pendulous one, and so connected 
with the bell hammer that when such armature is Arawm towards the 
magnet it shall cause the hammer to strike the bell. The operation of 
the apparatus is as follows : 50 

While the door is closed, or the window sash down, the magneto- 
electric circuit is broken, because the spring of the key is thro^\■n out of 
connection with one of the circuit wires. But as soon as the door is 
opened, or the window- sash moved, so as to allow the spring of the key 
to come in contact with the circuit wire to which it is not connected, 95 
the circuit will be closed, the current of electricity from the battery 
Ijeing made to flow through the circuit breaker and around the magnet. 
As soon as this takes place the magnet becomes charged, and attracts or 
draws the armature towards itself, and thereby causes the lumnner to 
strike tlio bell. Dui-ing the movement of the armature towards the 30 
magnet it is carried in contact with the circuit breaker, or a pi-ojection 
therefrom, and moves the circuit breaker away from the circuit wire 
against which it rested. I'his breaks the circuit and demagncti/ces the 
magnet. In consequence of this, the armature is permitted to fall or 
move away from the magnet, the weight and fall of the hammer 35 


A.D. 1853.— N'^ 1795. 

TPofca Imj^rovements in Electro- Magnetic Alai-vi Apparatus. 

causing it to do so, until the circuit breakei- springs Ijack against tlie 
circuit wire, and thereby closes the circuit, and causes another blow of 
the hammer on the bell to take place. Thus a constant succession of 
blows of the hammer on the bell M'ill be produced, the same serving to 
5 sound the alarm. 

I not oulv claim as my Invention the combination of the moveable 
or vibrating armature and the spring circuit breaker ^\ith the I)ell 
hammer, and applied and used for the purpose of ringing a IxMi, 
but I claim the combination of the automatic or self-acting key, the 
10 circuit wires leading therefrom, the electric battery or a generator 
of electricity, an electro-magnet bell hammer and armature, and a 
circuit breaker, as applied and used in connection with a door or 
window, or other contrivance for the purpose of sounding an alarm 
when an attempt is made to open the same. 

15 SPECIFICATION in pursuance of the conditions of the Letters Patent, 
filed by the said Augustus Russell Pope in the Great Seal Patent 
Office, on the 12th January 1854. 

Augustus Russell Pope, of the State of Massachusetts, of the United 

20 States of America, send greeting. 

WHEREAS the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, by Lettei-s 
Patent, bearing date the First day of August, of the year of our Lord 
Eighteen hundred and fifty-three, in the seventeenth year of Her reign, 
did grant unto me, the said Augustus Russell Pope, my heirs, executors, 

°5 administrators, and assigns, an exclusive property or right for fourteen 
years to make, use, exercise, and vend, within the United Iviugdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of ]\Ian, 
an Invention of "A New ahd Useful or Improved Electro-Magnetic 
Alarm Apparatus, to be applied to a Door or Window, or both, of a 

30 Dwelling House or other Building, for the Purpose of Giving an 
Alarm in case of an Attempt to Open said Door or Window," upon the 
condition (amongst others) that I, the said Augustus Russell Pope, 


A.D. 1853.— N" 1795. 

Popiix Improvements in Electro- 3Iagnetic Alarm Apparatus. 

by an instninient under my liaiid aiul seal, should paiticuhirly 
describe and ascertain the nature of the said Invention, and in what 
manner tlie same was to be performed, and cause the same to be filed 
in the Great Seal Patent Office, or Otllce of the Commissioners of 
Patents for Inventions, within six caleniler months next and imme- 
diately after the date of the said Letters Patent. 

NOW KNOW YE, tlmt I, tlie said Augustus Puissell Pope, do hereby 
declare tlie nature cf my said Invention, and in what manner the same 

is to be perfoimed, to be particularlv described and ascertained in 

-. ' . .10 

and by the following- Specificaticni and the accompanying Drawings, 

letters, figures, and references thereof: 

Of the said Drawings, Figure 1, represents an elevation of a door 

and window, and my apparatus as applied thereto. Figure i, is a 

vertical and transverse section taken thronch the .spring- circuit breaker, 

to be hei-ein-after described. Figure .S, is a vertical section of the 

apparatus, herein-after termed the key, as ajiplied to the door. Figure 4, 

is a section of the same as applied to the window. 

In the said Drawings A, represents a door, of which ?>, is the fiame, 

the same being shewn a.s fitted into the wall D; 11, and F, are window 

sashes of a window frame G ; H, is an electro-magnet fastened to the 

side of tlie wall in a convenient position, and having a bell I, arranged 

over or near it. One of the pole v.ires leading from an electric batterv 

is seen at K. It extends to and winds around the magnet, and passes 

upwards over the bell and window frame, and thence downwai'ds into 

the door frame, where it is connected tn a small stationai-y metallic 

plate L, as seen in the Drawings. Phe plate L, is fastened in the door 

frame, and forms a part of the apparatus Avhich I term the key. The 

said key is otherwise composed of a metallic .spring j\I, one end of 

, which is made to bear against the plate L, while the other or lo\Yer end 

is fastened to the door frame, the spring being fixed in a recess N, '^^ 

made in the door frame. In Figure o, a transverse section of the door 

frame is given, with the door represented as o])en. Phe inner edge of 

the door has a snndl stud or pin 0, projecting from it, which coustitntes 

part of the ke}-, and when the door is closed presses against the spring 

M, of the kcw, and bears it awav from contact with the idate L; as ^^ 


A.D. 1853.— N" 1795. 

Popes Improvements in JEledro-Magnetic Alarm Apparatus. 

soon as the door is opened a very short distance the stud will be so 
moved away from the spring as to allow the spring to come in contact 
with the plate L. From tb.e lower part of the spring a wire P, extends 
nearl}' to the lower pole of the magnet, and towards and against what 
5 I term the spring circuit breaker, which consists of a niotallic spring Q, 
extended upwards fi'om the battery circuit wire R. l"o the magnet 
there is applied a moveable pendulous armature S, which vibrates on a 
pin T, and has a hammer U, extended upwaitls from it, and towards 
and within a short distance from the underside of the bell. When this 

10 hammer is at rest, or down to its lowest position, it is retained there bv 
a stop pin V, against which the lower part of the armature of the 
magnet rests under such circumstances. The form and shape of the 
circuit breaker and its relative position with respect to the armature 
and the wire P, that leads from the sjjring of the key, arc shewn in the 

15 Drawings. The top of the spring circuit breaker is formed with a 
small projection a, M-hicli extends into the path of the armature, so that 
when said armature is moved towards the magnet the projection of the 
circuit breaker will bo struck by the arm so as to move the circuit 
breaker out of contact with the end of the wire P. The above 

20 constitutes the alarm apparatus as applied to a door. 

In the application of it to a window the wire P, or another wire X, 
leading up from it, may be extended into the window frame, and con- 
nected with the lower end of a metallic spring h, arranged on the inside 
or pulley stile of the frame, and made to bear against the edn-c of a 

25 sash, the said edge being so formed or sha])ed that while the window is 
in the act of being opened it shall press the spring towards and ao-ainst 
the end of another wire Y, extended down from the wire K, before 
named, or is an extension of said wire when the apparatus is to be 
applied to a window alone. The spring and contrivance for moviu"- it as 

30 above described, as applied to a window, constitutes ^\•hat I term the 
key. The operation is as follows : 

While the door is closed, or the Mindow sash down, the magnetic 
circuit is broken, because the spring of the key is thrown out of connec- 
tion with the upper wire of the door or window frame. But as soon as 

35 the door is opened or the window sash moved so as to allow the spring 


A.D. 1853.— N° 1795. 

Pope's Ivipi'oveinents in Electro-Magnetic Alarm Apparatus. 

(if tlie key to come into contact wth the upper wire or the metallic 
plate at the lower end thereof the circuit will be closed, the current of 
electricity being made to flow through the circuit breaker and ai-ound 
the magnet. As soon as this takes place the magnet becomes chai-ged, 
and draws the armature towards it, and thereby throws the hammer of 5 
the bell against the bell. During the movement of the armatui-e 
towards the magnet it throws or moves the circuit breaker out of 
connection or contact with the wire P, whereby the circuit will be again 
broken so as to demagnatize the magnet, and allow the armature to fall 
back until the circuit breaker again comes in contact with the wire P, 10 
and thereby closes the electric circuit, and produces another blow of the 
hammer on the bell. Thus a constant succession of blows of the 
hammer on the bell will be produced. 

By my apparatus I dispense vvith the use of clock work or an appa- 
ratus to ring the bell through the agency of the falling of a weight or 15 
uncoiling of a spring, the hammer being kept in action on the bell 
while the battery continues to furnish electricity, and the door or 
window is open. 

I not only claim as my Invention the combination of the moveable 
or vibrating armature and the spring circuit breaker with the bell 20 
hammer, and applied and used for the purpose of ringing a bell, but 
I claim the combination of the automatic or self-acting key, the circuit 
wires leading therefrom, the electric battery or a generator of elec- 
tricity, an electro-magnet bell hammer and armature, and a circuit 
breaker, as applied and used in connection M'ith a dooi- or window, or 2.5 
other contrivance for the purpose of sounding an alaini when an 
attempt is made to open the same. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal. 



Printed by George Edward 'Etr'e and William Spottiswoode, 

Printers to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty. 1854. 



M \ 






Appendix D 

U.S. Patent No, 8,920 
Moses G. Farmer, of Salem, Massachusetts 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Alarm-Bel Is 

May 4, 1852 


United States Patent Office. 


S|>ccilioutioM forming part of J^ctUrs 
To (lU irhom it viaij couccru : 

Be it known Unit I, Moses GEiinisn Far- 
mer, of Salcra, in llie county of Essex and State 
of Massacliusetts, have invented a new and 
nsoful Improvement on Macbiiies for Striking 
J'c'is by ElectroMaguctism; and Idobereby 
declare (bat tlie following is a f^l\\^ clear, and 
exact description of tbc constrnction and oper- 
ation of the same, reference being bad to tlie 
annexed drawings, makingai)artof tbis speci- 
fication, in wbicb — 

P'igure I is a perspective view of tbat i)art 
of tbomacbine wbicb constitutes my invention, 
termed in tbo subjoined description tbc "lib- 
erating apparatus." Fig. 11 is a perspective 
view of tlie maeliinc, showing the position of 
the bell, the hammer, the striking apparatus, 
and its connection with the liberating part of 
the machine. 

My invention consists of mechanism of pe- 
culiar construction, which is put in operation 
by electro-magnetism, and so combined with a 
train of wheel-work, cams, spring, weights, 
and a hammer, as to cause successive blows to 
be struck upon a bell any required number of 
times, the main feature of the invention con- 
S'.stiug in this, that I am enabled by its use to 
bring into action any desirable amount of 
force, either of gravity, of a spring, of cur- 
rents of air, or of steam, and control the dura- 
tion of the same by the electro-magnet. 

In Figs. I and II tbo frame of the machine 
is shown at 1 1. An clcctro-raaguet, L L', Fig. 
I, is placed in a horizontal position near to one 
end of the machine. An upright bar, c, hav- 
ing its center of motion upon the rocker-sliaft 
J is attached to tbc armature K of the magnet. 
The top of the bar c is made sufficiently broad 
to allow the end of the arm N to rest upon it 
at b, the opposite end of the arm N being firmly 
affixed to the rocker-shaft O O, which is sup- 
ported by the upright stands C C. To the 
same shaft O O there are also atfixed three 
arms or levers. A, P, and/. A isan arm wbicli 
may be about ten inches in length, having a 
weight, a, at its upper cud. This bailor weight 
isnot vertical with the rocker-shaft O, to which 
it is attached, bwt is inclined at such an angle 
as to insure its fall whenever the horizontal 
bar N is not sui)ported by the upright bar c. 
The distance through which the bar « is al- 
lowed to fall is regulated by the restW. The 

Pulont No. 8,9it0, fluted Miiy 4, IBM. 
aru P may be two or three inches in length, 
and is aflflxed to the rocker-shaft O in such a 
position as to act upon the end of tbo horizon- 
tnl latcb-sbaped detent d and raise it from the 
pin or stud e. The detent d is supimrted atone 
end by a stud, V, upon which it turns. The 
Oi)posito end carries .^ pin, Q, which falls upon 
another pin or stop, II, attached to tbc stand 
C, and prevents the detent d from falling 
lower than is necessary. The arm /, also 
firmly fastened to the rocker-shaft O, has at 
its lower end a stud or pin, D, placed in sucb 
a position as to come in coitact with the cam 
g g, as hereinafter described. 

The horizontal shaft E E, which is supported 
in the stands F F, placed upon opposite sides 
of the frame I I, carries the dog S, the pinion 
G, the gear T, and the cam or wi|)er g, all of 
which are firmly secured to the shaft by splines 
or other suitable device. The cam g may be 
of about the same form shown in the drawings, 
its shape being such as to insure (by the inter- 
vention of the stud D, the bar/, and tberocker- 
shaft O) the elevation of the arm and ball A 
a to the required height, and at tbc same lime 
allow it to fall upon the rest W. 

The pinion U, placed below the gear T and 
driven by it, gives motion, by means of the 
borizoi.val shaft r, to the vane or fan /*/»', which 
may be placed outside of the frame I. The 
bar 1 1, to the opposite ends of wbicb the vanes 
h h' are fastcnd, turns freely upon the shaft r. 
"^t carries a pawl, Y, and spring X, so placed 
ibat the pawl may play in tlicratciictZ, which 
is firmly fixed to tbo shaft. 

The pinion G forms a connection between 
the mechanism above described and the com- 
mon strikiugapparatusol a tower-clock. Upon 
the latter machine I claim no imi)rovcment8, 
as my invention relates exclusively to the lib- 
erating apparatus, as hercinlicfore stated. 

In Fig. II, which shows the general con- 
strnction and relative position of the principal 
parts of the machine, 'R represents a section 
of the lip of a bell; JI, the hammer; M, the 
weight; ii, the crank, by turning which the 
weight is wound up. 

Tbo pinion G, Fig. I, plays in llio gear T. 

I""ig. II, by which a connection is established 

between the striking [tart of the mechanism 

and tbo liberating apparatus. 

The action of the weight M causes tbc shaft 



E nud tbo altnchcildogH to revolve in llio di- 
rection of tbo ftrrow m. 

Wlioii tlio iiinoliiiio is ndjuBlod i\i(d in rcndi- 
iicss for action tlio detent d boars npon Ibo 
shid e in tbc dog S, nnd prevents tbo weiRlit 
MjWiikb moVca tbo strikingbnnimor, from fall- 
iiifr. Tlio velocity of rotation of tbe dog S is 
siicb as to allow time for one stroke of tbe bam- 
inor n))on tbo bell at cacb of its revolutions. 

To set tbc inccbanisni bcrcin described in 
motion a current of electricity, generated by 
a suitable battery, is i)asscd tbrougb tbo coils 
of tbe magnets L L', tbo armature K is at- 
tracted to tbe magnet, tbe nprigbt arm c moves 
witb it, tbe borizontalarm N is no longer sup- 
ported, and tbc weigbtcd arm A falls over un- 
til stopped by tbe adjustable rest W in front 
of it. In falling tbe lever P raises tbo latcb- 
6b'>j>ed detent d. Tbc dog S, carrying tbe pin 
e uttacbed to tbe same axis witb tbe cam g, 
and connected witb tbe train of wbeelsof tbe 
strikingmacbinory, is tbusliberated and begins 
to revolve. In sodoiugtbe cam </ revolves and 
swingsforward tbe bar/attached fotbcaxisof 
tbe falling arm A, whicb is tbus raised to its 
original position. Tbc borizont^l lever N 
catcbcs again at h if tbc armature bas been re- 
leased, tbe detent d falls and comes in contact 
witb tbo pin c,tbns arresting tbe dog S at tbe 
end of one revolution. Tbisoccupieboncor two 
seconds, and iu tbo meantime the weigbt M 
bas fallen a abort distance and a single blow 
bas been etrnck by the hammer upon the bell. 
If tbe armature K were not released from tbe 
attraction of tbe electromagnet tbe horizontal 

lover N would not catch at 6, Rnd tbe machine 
would continue to strike until tbecircuit-infln- 
onciiiR electro-niftgnot wim Intcrninlcd. 

Tlie re<l lines in the drawings snow the po- 
f-ition of a spring, 4, of india-rubber or other 
clastic material, one end being attached at 5 to 
the falling arm A, and the other end fastened 
to tbo frame of tbe machine, as at C. As tbe 
arm rises tbe spring is eitended. As it falls its 
velocity is increased by tbc contnc lion of the 

It is obvious that either the weight (( or the 
spring 4 may be used separately, or their ac- 
tion may be combined, as above described. 

I claim as ray invention— 

The cotnbinatiot), substanttally as bereiu set 
forth, of the electro-magnet and armature, or 
its electromagnetic equivalent, with tbc tail- 
ing ball or spring and the detents, and tbe lift- 
ing-cam or its equivalents, so arranged that 
when tbe ball is supported by the armaluro a 
slight force only of the electro-magnet is re- 
quired to trip the ball, which ball in falling 
requires sufficient momentum to produce much 
greater mechanical effects than the magnet 
alone, tbe velocity of tbe ball in falling being 
still furtheraccelerated by theforceof aspring, 
if desired. The power tbus obtained 1 use iu 
tbe manner and for the purpose herein de- 

Iu presence of — 


Saml. Batchelder, Jr. 

fL. 8.] 

( 124 



No. 8,920. 

Patented May 4, 1852. 


Appendix E 

Reissue 566 


U.S. Patent No. 9,802 

Augustus R. Pope, of Somerville, Massachusetts 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Alarms 

June 8, 1858 


United States Patent Office. 

A. i;. I'oi'K, OF s().mi;kvji,i.i;, :\ias8A("IIU.sI';tt.s. 


li:irl i>( I' Xu. '.i.Hifj, ,l:ii,,l .Iiiiic 'Jl, l-O:!; l.'ci.i.-ii.- N... 300, <l; 
.lulled, 18."..-'. 

'/'() all iihinii it miui comrrn : 

l.c it known tliat 1, AUGL'STl's \{. Vo\'\-., of 
.Soinei\ ilk', in tlic county of Miildlcsex iuul 
State of Massacluisc'tts, liavc, invenli'd a now 
and nsol'nl or Improved !\Ia^netic Alarm, to be 
ainilicd to citlier a door or a window, or botli, 
of a dwelliii;;-lionse or otiicr biiildin;; for tlic 
l)iiil)Ose of f;ivin^ an alarm in case oi' liiirf,'lari- 
ousoiotlicraltenii)ts to cnlcrtlie same llironf,'li 
said door or \\ indow by opening ^aid door or 
window; and I do liereby declare tiiat tiicsamc 
is fnlly described and represented in tlie fol- 
lowing spceilication and tlie accompanying 
drawings, of wliieli — 

Figure 1 reiircsents an elevation of a door 
and window and my apparatus as applied 
thereto. Fig. 2 is a vertical and tiansvcrsc 
section taken tliiough tlics|)ringcircnitl)reak- 
cr to be lieieinafter described. F'ig. 3 is a ver- 
tical section of tLe aj)paratus hereinafter 
termed the "key ^ as applied to tlie door. Fig. 
4 is a section of tlie same as applied to tlio 

In the said drawings, A represents a tloor, 
of wbicli ]3 is tlic frame, tlie same being shown 
as fitted into the wall D. 

Vj and F arc wiiidow-sashes of a window- 
frame, G. II is an elcctro-mugiiet, fastened to 
the side of the wall in a convenient ])osition, 
and having a bell, I, arranged over or near to 
It. One of the pole-wires leading from an elec- 
tric battery is seen at K. It extends to and 
winds around tlic inagneL and passes upward 
over the bell and window-frame, and thence 
downward into the door-frame, where it is con- 
nected to a small stationary metallic jilate, L, 
ns seen in the drawings. This plate L is fast- 
ened to the doorframe and forms a])artof tlio 
apparatus which I term the "key." The said 
key isotlierwis(! composed of a metallic spring, 
M, one end of which is made to bear against 
the jilate I;, while tlio other or lower end is 
fastened to the doorframe, the spring being 
ll.xed in a recess, N, made in the doorframe. 

Ill Fig. a transverse section of the door- 
framo is given with the door rciircsciitiMl as 

The inner edge of tbc door lias a small stud 
or pin, O, projcetiiig from it, which constitutes 

a part of the key, and when the door is closed 
presses against the spring M (,r the key and 
bears it away from contact with the plate L. 
As soon as the door is opened a \ery short dis- 
tance the stu<l will be so moved away from the 
spring as to allow the spring to come in con- 
tact with the plate ];. 

From the lower part of thes|)ringa wire, I', 
extends nearly to the lower ]>olc of the magnet 
and toward and against wiial I term the 
"spring circuit-breaker," which consists of a 
metallic spring, (J, extended upward from the 
other battery circuit wire li. 

To the magnet there is apidied a movable 
pendulous aimature, .S, which vibrates on a 
pill, T, and has a hammer, U, extended from 
it and toward and within a short distance from 
the under side of the bell. When this hammer 
is at rest, or down to its lowest position, it is 
retained there by a stop-pin, V, against which 
the lower part of the armature of the magnet 
rests under such circumstances. 

The form and shape of the circuit-breaker 
and its relative jiosition with respect to tho 
armature and the wire P, that leads from the 
spring of the key, are shown in the drawings 

The top of the springcircuit-breaker is formed 
with a small ])rojection, «, which cxteuds into 
the path of the armature, so that when said 
armature is moved toward tho magnet the pro- 
jection of the circuit-breaker will be struck by 
the arm, so as to move the circuit-breaker out 
of contact with the end of tho wire 1*. 

The above constitutes the alarm apparatus 
as applied to a door. In the application of it 
to a window tho wire I', or another wire, X, 
leading u() from it, may be extended into tho 
wiii(U)W-franio aiul connected with tho lower 
end of a metallic spring, /;, arranged on tho 
inside or imllcy stile of tlie i'rame and made to 
bear against tho edge of a sash, tho said edge 
being so formed or sliai)eil that while the win- 
dow is ill the act of being raised it shall press 
the spring toward and against the end of an- 
other wire, Y, extended down from the wire 
K before named, or is an extension of said 
wire when tho aiiparatiis is to be applied to a 
window alone. 

The Sluing and contrivance for moving it. 


as above doscrilicd, as apiilicd In a uimlou-, 
fonstitiitc wliat 1 toiiii llio "IvC.v." 

Tliooi^cration of (lie npijaialiis is as Ibllows: 
NN'liile tlio door is closed oi- tlio w iiuiow- sasli 
tlown tlio itiaf,'iiolii: <'ii-ciiit is l)i(d<cii, liccausc 
tlio Rpriiip of llic key is llirown out of comicc- 
tiou with tlio iii>iior wire of the door or window 
frame; Init as soon as tlie door is ojieiied or 
the window -sash moved, so as to allow the 
sprin^iof the key to come into contact with the 
njiper wire or tiic niclalli<; i)late at the lower 
end thereof, the circ\iil will he closed, the cni- 
rent of electricity beinp mailc to How lhroM;,'h 
the circuit - breaker and around the. ma;,'net. 
As soon as this takes i)laee the ma;^net be- 
t;onies charged and draws theaiinalure toward 
it, and thereliy throws the haninier nf the bell 
a^rainsl the bell. Dnrin;: the movcmcnl tif (he 
artnatnrc toward thenia;;net il throws or moxcs 
thccireuit-breakeront of connection or contact 
with the wire I', whereby the circuit will tic 
a^'ain broken, so as to denia^,Mieli/e the maj;- 
nel and allow the ainiatnre to fall liack until 
the circuit-breaker a;,'ain c(Mnesin contact with 
tlio wire I', and thereby (doses the (decl ric cir- 
cuit and ]iroduc(>s another blow of the h.un- 
mer on the bell. Thus a constant, succession 
of blow.sof the hammer on the bell will be pro- 

]ty my apparatu.s 1 disjiensc with the useof 
clockwork or an ap|)aratu.s to rin;: the Ixdl 
tlirougli tiic a;rency of tlic lallin;; of a wci;;iit 
or uncoiliufr of a k|)i iufj, the h;inuiier liein;; 

'><'l'l ill aclioii on the liidl wliile the l.alterv 
conliiines to furnish (dcclricily and the door 
Oi- wiiiildw is open. 

I do not claim tli(^ communication of intelli 
t,'ciice by tli(! electric circuit and magr.ct as a 
part of my invention, or tlio vibration of the 
armature for this i)iirposc; but 

I do claim — 

1. The nioile of breaking' and completing the 
circuit, or vice versa— that is, by the ,si)ring 
circuit-breaker operatiii}: to cause the vibr.-v 
tiou of the armature. 

L'. So combining a hammer and bell with the 
selfvibralin^' armature that the vibratin^j of 
the latter slial! produce a continued riiifjin'J,' of 
the bell under circiimslunces siibstnntiall v as 

.'t. 'I'he coiiibinatioii of these purls — viz., iIk, 
<'irciiit • lircakcr, liammer, bell, and vibrating,' 
armature— or their cipiivalent or eriuivaleuts, 
with a selfaclin;; sjirin;,' or key in a door or 
wimlow, to operat(! so as not only to brinp them 
aiil(Miiaticallyiiilo;iction when the door or win- 
dow ]* open, lint maintain a continuous orcoii- 
tinueil iiii;,'iii;,' of the bell by llu; interruption 
ol the clectriccnrnMit without the intervention 
of other niacliiiiery. 

In testimony whereof I hiwc hereunto set 
my si;,Miature. 

AU(ii;.sTi;.s it. I'oi'ic. 

W ilnesses : 

It. II. KllDV, 
F. I'. IlAi.K, .Ir. 


No. 566. 

A. R. POPE. 

burglar Alarm. 

Reissued June 8, 1858. 










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Appendix H 

U.S. Patent No. 63,158 
Edwin Holmes of New York, N.Y. 

Improvement in Electric Circuit-Breaking Clocks 

March 26, 1867 


jtittb BinttB vnitnt ifflcf. 


Letlert J'nifnt No. CnACH, dn(td March W, 1RC7. 


ttfet St^fiiih tfltrrtb lo in Ibfst Jjtttrs opulent nnb miiliing i!:irl b( tbt sanu. 


Bf it known that I, EnwiN Holmes, of the cilj, county, aiiil Stale of New York, liavo invented a new and 
useful ElectroMsgnetic Circuit-Brciikiiig Clock; ond I do liorcby declare the bbido to be fully described in the 
following apccificnlion, nnJ represented In the Rccorapaiiying drawings, of which — 

Figure 1 is a front cleTalion of a common clock or timo-pieco provided with a circuit-l-caking apparatus 
in Bccordanco with my invention, llio face and hour-denoting figures or characlera of the clock being exhibited 
in red lines. 

Figure 2 ii a section of the breaker-wheel and its spring. 

Figure 3 is a vertical and tranivcrie section of such brcukor-whccl and its adjusting wheel. 

Tim piirpo.^e of my invcnlion is to effect iho brcnking of an electro-tnngnclio circyil at »py particular time 
of the ilnv, and I-; keep it broken for a determined period thereafter, if desirable. It may also be constructed 
for closing a nrcuit nt atiy (lefinilo titno of the day, ond for keeping it closed during such period or part of such 
day therrafliT as may be desir'.' le. 

My inv<-iitiun is sjiccially designed (o be used with the circuit of an cloctro-magnctic alarm apparatus, par- 
ticularly such ns was patented by Augustus B. Pope, June 21, 1853, in which case it would be designed to 
break the circuit at an early period in tho morniDg jusi previous lo the time ncccisory for opening tho house or 
one of ihi- windows or doors thereof included in the circuit or to which the circuit may bo applied. By ro 
breaking the circuit, tho soumling of the alarm will be prevented whenever such door or windovr may bo opened, 
■ nd thus persons in ihc house, whom tho alorm, if Bounded, would awaken, con remain asleep. Therefore it 
will be seen ihnt ihc porticulor object of thus breaking the circuit is to enable a person at the proper tinic to 
open a "lonr or window in the circuit without at the same time causing the alarm to he foui\dcd and awaken the 
inmates of ihc house who m:iy bo desirous of remaining asleep. 

In ihii ilruwiiigr,, A denotes a clock of oidinnry eonstruclion, (i bcin^ lie hour hnnd and 6 its minute li.iiid. 
(Jn the orhni- of the hour hand rt, ami concenlricnlly thercwiil-, I arrange what 1 Iciin the hrcakernherl B, 
which, by a xlinrl tubular ahoft, f, is connected with iin udjusling-wheel, C, on wlioso foco arc marked the ngiins 
or signs reprc^enlir.g the twelve, hours. A portion of the [.riiphrry of the wliCel B, vii, that marked ,1, ii :\ 
nf.n-coiHlin.lnr nf gb'dricity, tho remainder of the wheel being yiado of metal. On iho said periphery of ihu 
wheel B, a iiulnllic tpring, 1>, bears, it being extended fiuin a circuit-wire scrcwconncctien./, projected from 
anorui,</, "IimIi i«.ccuredor fixed to ihe melnllic fronie /. .^f the clock, and should be a non-ionduclor of 
■elcclrieily. Hih of the battery wires of Iho cirruil, ni, llmt nmikrd E. leads into and is to he fi.tod to the 
connecliun/. Tli- conlinualinn of Iho circuit is hy a une, 1"', leading from another scrow-conuection, (', fi.i'd 
to the frame //. Whilr the (Spring D is in conlinl Milh ihe nielallic part of the perijihery of tho breaker 11 tho 
circuit will he ilu-.-d, but a.« soon as it comes into an<l while it may renioin in contact with tho [lart <^, tho 
circuit will Ic liuiken or open. When tho meridian hour murk, v ir.. XI I, of the odju.«ling-wheel is in its highest 
position, the ipiing 1) sliouUl be in conlacl with one extremity of the part d. Tho circuit breaker B and its 
adjusting-wheid shmild revolve together on tho arbor of the hour hand, with friction Midieicnt to enable them 
to he carried around or revolved by it, ai.a lo ho Inrned at other limcJ Oil tho arbor in order to adjust the part 
d with refeu;.eu to the hour hand." In order lo «(t the breaker B so ai to cause the current lo ho broken at 
any hour, llie number or charncler designating such hcjr on tho wheel C should ho brought around 
inlo jirklapn,iii.,n will, llie lund. When the hour hand may reach that particular hour on the dial, the 
pnrl >( will be brought inlo conlaet with iK' spring and the circuit will bo hr-.ken. 
What I claim as my invention, i? — 

The coinbinalion n» well os ihe arrangcmenl of ihc circuit-breaker II, Us adjuster C, and tho spring 1), "ith 
a clock or -imc-piece A, and an elerlric or'eloclro-magnetic nrcuil, the whjlo being suh.slanllally as and for the 
purpose as hereinbefore, p. elfied. KimiN HOLMES. 


No. 63.158. 


Electric Clock. 

Patented March 26, 1867. 







Appendix I 

U.S. Patent No. 20,970 
William Whiting, of Roxbury, Massachusetts 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic House-Alarm 

July 20, 1858 


United States Patent Office. 



■ t; |.:nl (.f 1,. n,M I'Mlriil \.i. 510. OTO, ilnlril .li,l> vn. I-T.M. 

2'o <(ll irlitiiii it 111(11/ loiiirin: 

lie it kiKiuii tlial I, Wii.r.iAM Wiiiiim;, 
COlinscloi- ;i( l;iw, oC l.'iiNliiuy, in llic. <'iMiiily 
of .Noilollc :uul .Sl;Ut; ol .MassMcliiisills, li;i\i' 
iliVfllli'd :i new ;in(l iisirul I iii|it (i\ (•iiiciil III 
Ivlc<Mn)Mii;,'lioli<: iidiisi' A l;ii ins. ol llif 
I'ollow ill},' is ;i lull, cIciMi', ami c-\acl clcsci ipl mii, 
ri-lc'rciicc Iiriii;,' liail Id llirarc(iiii|iaiiy in;: ill a vv 
iiigs, making |imiI oI iliis s|ic(Mlicaiiiin, in 
wliicli — 

I''i;;ure 1 is a \icu- (if a iioitioii of a duill 
iiifj-iuiusi^ uilli my iin|ii(ivc'(l a|i|,aialiis al 
taclicd. l''i;,'. - i.s .i xciIicm! sccliiiii llinni{,'li 
(lie 10(1111, sliowiii;: llu; iinlicadii;; ami alarm 
upparattis in elevation. I'it;>;- •', -t. ^>, •', n'l'l 
7, details, III lie ii'lcirc'd lo licrciiiariiT. 

I am aware thai an apparalns has lieen em- 
ployed as a lim';;laralariii in wliicli a .siM;;l(' 
'■ieelrie eiicuil nas cmpliiyed in eoniicclion 
with tli(' windows and doors ol' a liiiildiii;;, and 
so ananjjcd tlial the openiiif,' o( any one of 
them slioiild elos(; llie ciiriiil and koiiihI an 
HJaiin. Such appaialus, liowevci-, rnniishcd 
no indiealion ol' Ilie w lierealioiil ol" the uiii 
(low or door so opened, and Hie proprietur was 
k-ri loseaich lliloiifxh the whole, house. Im ihc 
inli inler, who was hlmseir |iriha|is al.iiined, 
and enaliled to escape. 

My in\cnlioii has lor its object to inddncf 
a liduscalarni which shall not <>nl\ alaiin Ihc 
liro|irietor or f;iiardiaii of the house on Hot in 
tnisioii of a liiir;:lar, I ml ^hall a I I he. same I imi' 
indic.ale l<i him Hie p.i:l <;! I he. honse allaei.ed, 
that hisaileiilloii ma\ lie iniincdialely diiicled 
lo 1 h(.' parLiciiIar loum u here an enlry has hccii 
:itleiniitcil or cnicled; ami this I accomplish 
li.V the cmploymeiil of a srnes ol'ehciro ma;,' 
ne.tic (•iic.nits (diic ('or each dislinci roum or 
portion ol' the hoiis(! lolie ;:narded)in cdnnec- 
lion Willi an indicaldi for iiiilicatiii(; Ihc por 
lion of Hie hoii.-e alla>.l;cd and with an al.iiin 
apparatn.s for sonndin;^ the alarm, the door.s 
and windows of the honse. beiiifj so coiiaected 
witii l.lii! eircnils Hial Hiu opening of any oim 
of llieiii .shall eloirc or linaU tin' circiiil with 
which il is coiinecleil, caii-iC, Hie, alarm lo he 
sonn(lc(l,aml indicate n|idii the imlicaldi Hut 
particular loom assailcil. 

'J'hal others skilled in Ihc aiL may iind'jr 
stand and use my invention, I will iiiocccd to 

descijlic Ihc manner in which I lia\( earned 
Hie same into elVccl. 

Ill the (Ira wiiig.s, li is Ihc. iiidicalor, \\li,(li 
is placed in any cimvcnicjit pusiliim in Ihc 
lidiise Id lie proleclcd, (as in Ihc. sleepin;^ kkiiu 
df Ihc |iiiipiictor.) Il is here, show n allaehcd 
Id I lie \K all of I he. room. It ('oiisisLs of a lioard 
Id uliich arc s(M'nrcd the. elcci Id ma;:nc|s I.'J, 
■ t, I, d, ami fi, I here liciii;,' one ina;,'nc.l lur c.oli 
lmlica(iii;,'-circ.uil. 'riieopei al inn of all in-iii;; 
similar, lull one will lie. descrilieil. 

I may here remark thai each circiiil of wires 
may protect a siri;il(; window or dodr, or a sin 
;,'h) room or entry. The. lal Icr plan is 1 he cue 
here, represented. 

.Near Ihc iiidicalor, in anjconvcnieiil place, 
is secured a .shelf, (", which supporl.sHiealarin 
apparalns. 'j'liis coiisisis of an eh-clro ma;,'- 
net, I'', the arin.'ilure of, as lliema;,'iiel 
is made liy the closiii;,' of the ('iieiill of ils li;-!- 
lery, operates Hie hammer of a hell, a ml causes 
il to riii;^ so hin;; as its cir(aiit remains chiscd 
ami ils tialli ry cdiitinnes in optualidii. I'liis 
rin;,'iii;,' is accomplished liy ;i well known de 
\ice, of inserlin;; a small piece of ;i non-con- 
duel In;: sill isl a nee in a \ ihralin;;:irm (Muinccleil 
wlHi (he armadirc, one df the. wiies of the 
hattery liciii;: in conlacl with the aim, and Hie 
ai 111 lieiii;: conneeled with one end of the coil ; 
lull a.s the. inelluul of rili;;in<,' llur liell forms no 
pai t of my prcseni iiiv cnlion, il need not ho 
mi.rc liilly desc.ilheil. 

.\ hatleiy, I), which upeialcs ihc alarm ap 
paialiis, ami a hattery, 10. which operates the 
indicalorand the imllcalin;,'-circiiits, are (daced 
ill any eoiivenicnt and securcsiluatidn. ]''rom 
one pole of Hie lialleiy I> llnr wire it leads to 
the hell nia;,'ncl K, and from this innKnet an 
oHk'I' wire, ((•', leads lo a piece of mclal, /i, se 
enroll to the ho.ird of ihe indicator li. To 
this piece /' Is ph olcd, al c, the arm al lire /' nf 
the ni.ij;nct I of Ihc iiidicalor. l-'roiii Ihe. op 
posilo pole dl Ihc hatleiy I) the wire'/ leads 
to a hook dl staple, at c, (ui the indicatur- 
hoard, a;;ainst which the arinatnre, /' .spiin;,'s 
hack when Hl(^ coil of the magnet I ceases In 
bo charged. 'I'his armature i.s fiinilslied with 
.'i Miiiall spring, i, which bears .ig.'iinst ii pin m 
the hoard, for the purpose of throwing the 
armature back. 



'I"lio wircH n, n', niiil il niiil Imllcrv D con- 
slilnlo llio IipII ciiriilt, (xliowii In red,) wlilcli 
\h closed wlu'ii tlit\ nrmnliird/' Ih In tlio |iiihI- 
tioii .Hccii ill l''i^'. '_', i\i\() tlip Im'II Ih ruii>;, iim Itc- 
foro oxpliiiiictl. 

I'Voiii Olio i>olc (il till! Imllt'iT I''- llip wirt< h 
\r 1p(I (o ilid iiinj,'iiPl I, 1111(1 lioiii llio (i|i|in«l|p 
end of (lie. coil of UiIk iiinjiiict iitlicr vvirrw iiiid 
KpriiiKH coinjilnlp tlio rirciiil, us will \n\ Iick^ 
iimflcr pxpliiiiipd, tlu^ wire // nilciiiij; (Iiimi|i- 
IKisilc imlo of (lilt* liiUlcr.v. 'rii('H(\ wIk'k, with 
tlio Hpriii^'R mid bo.xcH to ho dcHcrilicd mid llie 
Imtter.v l), coimlitiito tlio iiidiciitor- rlrriilt. 
(Sliowii ill bliip.) Wlicii Uiin tiiciiil is cloHrd 
llio innpiipl 1 is niiido, mid ilH uiiimliitc /' U 
drftwii up to il. 'J'liis liicnkH tlio liidl firciilt,iiR 
i^xpliviiu.'d ; bntulicii tlio ciiiiciit llii(iii;;li llio 
coil of tlio iiinf,'iicl 1 is lirolipii the iiniiiiliiK!/ 
is Uiiowii buck by ilH BpriiiK i into roiitiict 
with Uio Kt4iplc r, and tbo bidl ciipiiil is com- 
lili'.k'd. A Kiiudl sliicld, k, iiii llic end of llio 
uiiimturc,./', covers iv loll or, A, iiUiiolicd lo tlio 
ii|)por side of llio lioiud wlicni'vcr il is dniwii 
up lo il.s nin;;iiol, mid disclnscs llio lollcr wlirii- 
ever tlio ariuiuurc is tlirowii li;ir.k by ilsspl■ill^,'. 
Tims tlio lioll is niiij; iiiid ii li'llcr iiidioiilin^,' 
llic room is exposed lo view ciuli tiiiio tlie in- 
dicnloroirciiitisbiolicu. Tlio iiimiiiei' in wliicli 
lliis circuit is brokrii or closed by tlu; o|ieiiiu;,' 
orsliiiLliiij^of II door or window will now be ex- 

Ill llio doorCrmiio (!, l-'i;;K. I mid ■'(, (on llio 
Rido lo wliicli tlic liiiij;os iiru adiielied,) is se- 
cured !i iiielal box, )/i, llio bind; imrl of wliiidi 
may beoiieii. A piece of iioii conducting' iiiiiUv 
rial, /', rises vcrlically Ikpiii lln- (ruined. To tliis 
piece i', i.satliicliedmi iiisiiluted piece of inetui, 
II. A itiot, «, is eill tliroii;;li the froiil plille of 
tlio box til of 11 siillicieiil si/e to ullow u roll- 
er, /), lo piojccl a slioi I dislunce beyond llio 
lino of llio (loorlraiiic. Tliis ndler /< bus lis 
axle, liiiiij; ill a piece, c, lo wbicli is ulliic.lie.d u 
bent spriiiK, f. The piece ii is pivoted al r lo 
llio siilcsof llu". bn.x /»,aii<l is so arrmiKod w illi 
ipspecl lo tlio piece n lliiil wlipn llio roller /) 
projects I lildn;;li the slot n llio spring; i- w ill 
liol bo ill coiilucl wllli Ibe. |iiece ii, bill rest 
aj,'aillNt llus iippei piiil of llie picco /', mid 
when tlio ioll(M- is pressed in by llio <'losiii^ of 
llio door, llio eiiil of IIk; spriiij; c .slnill slido 
down oiilo mill in CMntacI willi Ibo pie<-e ii,its 
in I''iK. "l- 

In Fi^;. -t is shown tin- inmiiiei' in wliicli 
rnisinK ii window allows llie roller /i to Kpriii(,' 
out tliroiiRli llio slot. 

1 may liero stalo lluil u similar aiiiiii^jeinent 
to Ibnl jiisL described for llie door is pluci'd in 
llio side of llio fraiiio of eiicli window. 

A proovo, K, is cut in llie side of Ibe wiiidou • 
snail next lo tlio box m, of u Hiillleieiil wldlli 
mid doplli to allow the roller /i lo spriii;; mil 
lliroiiKli llio .slut", us in l'\^. ,1. Iliil us Iliis 
(,'roovo does uul cxioiid ipiito up Id llio lo|i of 
llio Husli, llio upper purl, iit t, wlilcli is nol 
grooved, will jiicss llio rolii-r bink into llio box 
\\lieiic\er llie siisli is sliiit down, and when 11 

\n rnlKoii tho roller \nii Npilni.' mil Inio tlm 
fjioin », mid nlliiw jlni ^prln;; ; lo coine nmny 
from Hie piece ii, A *liiillur m i miL'eiiicn) In 
nltiiclied III tli« nplifr «un|i, on llnil trlien II In 
pulled down ll« roller /) will npi In^. mil. |;n<li 
of llie nbo\ n (tcderlbed «pi Inj; m i uii^einentM In 
Iik'IiiiIpiI III Komo (ino of Ibe Indlcutni eIreiillH 
In Mieli Ik inminer lliiil w ;,eiie\ i-r llie i>prliiK-«i' 
lire In coiiliiel wllli tlio pieces ii, llip eircnit 
will bo closed, anil when inviiy from Iheiii will 
bo broken. The followlnu Is the iii ruii|{ciiienl 
hero iidopled : Tlio wlro /;, from llio b.illery II, 
Is ntlnehed lo the box i/i al .r ,- iiiiolber wire, 
I/, Is iillached lo the liiNiihiled piero ii, and in 
led llieiiee to llio nexl Itox, in, in the clr<'ilil. 
lin tlio diuwln(;s lo llio box in \"ni. I*,) mid 
i'roiii llio liisnlaleil piece ii of Ihls vmikIow lo 
llio next box (If lliero me innio of Ibeni) in 
led miolher « Ire, .r, mid so on fm euidi diior or 
window of thill room or elrcnil. from llio la<il 
one Ibo wire .', I''Ikh.I mid 'J, Is led lollie niUK- 
iiel 1 ol llio Indiciilor. Thus Hie ciiciilL which 
iiuikcH lliis iniipnol is from Hii^ bullery I',, 
llil(in^;li the box hi, jiivol c, spiin(,' ;, lo Iiimii- 
liiled piece ii, (wbeii tho Kpriiij; is down on It.) 
Hicnco tliron^'li tho wiro ;/ to Hie next box, 
(iind so llirmijjh all tho boxes in llio circiill;) 
mill from llio piece ii of llio liisl one IhrmiKli 
wii(ir to Ibo iniinncL I; llionce Ihrmiuh wiro/i 
liillieopposili! pole of tho bullciy 1',. The wllOM 
used lire coated or Insiilnted in Hie ordinnry 
miiniier. WJien thus arrml^,'ed, If all thr doorH 
mid windoWHeiubraced In IhiM 'ircnil mo sliiil, 
the, (ircnil will bo closed, llio iiiaj,'iiet 1 will bo 
made, and its unnaliiro /will bo drawn up to 
il,wlicii Ibo sliiidd k will Hie iiidlcnllinj- 
Idler A and the bell circiiil will be bmkeli.HK 
before exidalned. ilill on llic upenlnu' of n 
dour or window the spline r w III ,ino\e out of 

iluci Willi Hilt piece n, and Hie Indieulor- 

eiicuil will be broken, when Hie coll I will 
leuHi- III be a nnnjnel, its r.imulnio will \w 
Hiinwn back by Iho dprinj: i. lis IndleullnK- 
lellei will be ilisclnsod, and Hie bell clrrull 
will bo (Mimpleleil Ihion^di llic iii iimliire ilnelf, 
cuusiin; till' niui;iiol I'" to rinj: Hie bell uiid Kiv«' 
Hio uliiriu, whbdi will bo siniiiilcd h.i Inn;; n.i 
Hie iiidiculor circnil remains brul.eii und Ibo 
ballery D lasts. 

'i'he sysloin which I ha\ edi-Mi ibid, in w bieli 
a Kories (if closed eirciiils is eiiiplnved in eon- 
neclimi with uii open bell ciniiil. Is Hie <nio 
which I prefer; but Ibis order may be revet-setl 
mill a series of open indlcaliiii: circiiils nmv bo 
used in ((innccliou wllli mi indiculiir und an 
aliuiu uppmalns, bill lliin iii luuuemeiil is by 
no iiieans so siifo us Ihul above iIimi ibed. 

As befoio staled, eiKdi lomii in i-iilry will 
IniM' lis iiwn indiculor or ciiciiil iinil inannrl 
und il> indiculln;: leller, lubcl, nr niiiiiber j ImiI 
IheHuiiiebulleiy i;(lfiifsiimeienlslreiiKHi)liiny 
be inibrueeil iii a'l lliu cIiciuIm m ii-. many of 
Hiiiin UN II Is liiiinil ciinveiiienl, uinl Hn' iirnm- 
lures ul all tliiv Indieiiliir iiii.kihIs ihii\ be eui. 
braicd in mm bell cUeiill by emimcl mik Hmmii 
', with Hie w Irc.i ii' and il. 




Tlie wiro II 01 me ucllcircuit Is iiiriimncd i l<i wlilrli llio wiro i« ronnooKxl, ntid thus llio 

with ft Bwitcli, c", ami tlie wire h of (lie liuti 
caliii(,'circiiit Willi (i Hiinilnr Hwitcli,/'. TIichc 
uro for tlio ('<)iivt'iiioii(!c (if llic iiropriotor when 
lio wislicH lo open or close elllier eiieiiit — tiH.for 
iiislHiice, when ho rlMOH in (he nioiiiinj,' mnl 
wislieK lo loiuler I ho nliiiiii iiio|iei(i(iv e — he 
tiiiiis llie Bwilcli c', when llie bell eiiciiil will 
reiiinin open, iiiiil llie bell will not Uo inn^; 
uhrii ihe (looi 8(111(1 windowR iiro (ipeiieil. Ho- 
loi'c switcliiin; on lli(\ Ivcll circuit ill iii>;lit Ik; 
examines to Rce il'iill the iiiilicatinj,' cirenita are 
clo.ied. 'I'his lie will see at i\ Chinee, loi if niiy 
iloof or vviiiilow has lieoii loll open lll(^ aiiiia- 
tme or niH^'iKil l>cl()n^;inK lo tliiil cinMiil will 
not be (liawii up, iinil conseipicntl.v the inili- 
ealiiin Idler 111 thai ciiciiil w ill be exposed; 
and if lliebalter\ I', has failed, none of llie 
nia;,'nefs on llie board » ill b(\ made ami all I he. 
l(;Lle,rM will beexpoMcil, and if thin bal In v should 
f^ive out in the ni(,'lil the bell would be iiniK 
and Ki^e nolice (d it. When ho IIihIh lliii in 
die.alint^-circ.iiilM arc all in operation he elo.te.-t 
llie ."iu itch r'l and then lo inform himself if the 
lialleiy J) is opeialive he Inni.s the switch /"', 
which breaU.s ilie circuit lliidotjh the wire li, 
and \Uis canses the bell to liiij,' if its circuit i.s 
not inlerrilpted. lie may then the.swilch 
/'and retire, kiiowin;^ llial the whole appa- 
raltiH is in;; order. 

As it is (lesiiable to have it in llie iiowci of 
the inmates to open a door or wimUiw wilhoiil 
•soiimliiif,' the alarm, each room, or, if prt'ferred, 
each door and window, may bo furnished 
a switch similar lo /•', placed in hiicIi a posi 
that by tniniii;,' il the. cinaiit will eonliniie 
made when llie roller /< .sprintjs onl — for e.v- 
ample, by ailaehin;; lo one sido of Ihc box »i 
and liiinin^ il in conlacl with Ihe iiisiilali'd 
pier(S (t. When the door or window is rhiscd 
again this jirivalc swit(;h i.s liirned olf, and 
the pliieo i.s proleclod aH before. 

If desirable, I wo or more bells may be in 
iliKhsl in the same alarmcireiiil (Ihe balleiy 

II being made .sirong enimgli) and be plaeed 

III d I fie rent pai Is of the house, so that the in- 
mates may be >iiiiiillaneoii.sly iiilnriiied ol an 
altaeli, and lliiis render each oilier pmnipl as 
sistanee. In I In.s ease a s\\ ilch, as al <•', may 
bi< placed near each bell ; or llicy iiia,\ all be 
Milder lll(^ eonlrol ef Ihe proprielnr by means 
ol su iteli ('. 

Ill lien of the iiiTangenient show n in 1- 1-. I, 
wherein tln^ closing id iIk^ window pies^es m 
lli(^ roller ;), and Ihercby closes the cikuK, 
another atraiigeiiieiit has]Mii\ed, in piaeliee, 
Hiill more ellicieiil. 'Ihe (;avily .v is made djipo 
silo lo the roller /«, and id' a Icnglli mil niiieh 
exeoeding tint diameltn of the rollc-r. When 
I ho window is closed tin- inller spi iiigs niil iiilo 
this riivily. Instead of the wire. .• being a|. 
Inched to tlio piece ti il is atlachod lo a siini 
lar insulated jnece, c', h'ig. ■'i, on the. upper purl 
of tlio pioco (', so that when the window is 
raised the roller ;i is pressed in and tlio spi ing 
I slides down out of contact with the piece c', 

ircnit Is liKiken nnd ronlinucfl broken nntil 
the window is Rftdin plnced in itH orlginnl po- 
Nilioii. Tills Insiirrs not only tli(i «onn(Iiii(( of 
Ihn alariii, Inif (he conllnimnco of tlio ringing 
of Ihe hell while llio window is open, mid roii- 
deiR il sllll moriMlinienll for a burgUr to med- 
dle with Ihe window. spring without giviiignn 
ninriii, while, in the iirrHiigeinent represented 
in l'"ig. 4, if (lie lower .Sflsh bo ruined entirely up, 
the Miller ]i will be iigHin pressed in and the 
cii en it closed ; a ml if to prevent lli Is I he groove 
f Ik- ciiI enlirely I" the liollom of Ihe .sash and 
Ihe hitler b<' raised eiitir('ly up, the roller 
miglit be reached by a stick or wedge find be 
pressed in. and ihiis the conlinnoiis ringing of 
the bell lM^ pievenled. 

In place of Ihe above dcsci ibed spiing ai- 
111 laiigcinciils I sniiieliiiies use the lollowing 
more simple one: 'I'wo insnlHled pieces id 
melil, il', fig. (i, siiiiihir to ii, l''ig. -'l, are sc- 
(lived lothe inner lac(^ of thai part of the wiii- 
d.iu-liame with which the sash slides in con- 
lael when it is raised or lowered. To eacli of 
these pieces (/' is eoiinecled one of the wires 
1/ and r. I'o llie iiim-r edge of ihe sa.ih, op- 
posite lhes(' pieces when lliC sash is closed, is 
Hcciired a spring, ii\ l''ig. (', in siicli a manner 
I hat when llie window is clotH'd the two arni.s 
1 and -' of Ihe spring shall be in contact with 
Ihe insiilaled |iieeesof metal il'; but wlieiuivcr 
llu' window i.^ raised the spring ir will slide 
mil of conlacl with one or both of the pi(u;e.s 
il' and Ihe circnil w ill la- lodUen and the iilariii 
be selllidc'l, us beloir. 

()mo mode 111 \vliieh bin gl.ii s .-ometimes ei|. 
lei duelliiM;-- i- by iciMiiviiig III bieaUiiig out 
naiics of L'lass iVoiii a u nidow. To prolecl the 

Imilding III II 
liiwing ai laligi 
uire leading l< 
riiim Ihe window, or h 
ihiu-. Ill (llie liieiiil. 
ducliiiu vv lie. ' ', r:g- 
.11 carh ei.d a .Mil, ill, ■.,,.• of these r 
our ..I Ihe wilc- /,'. I 

,-i and Ihe ulhi i 

/, , Ihe e.iiidneling >MI 
llic paiii's id I., 
separale ilidiealing c 

-.,- I liave adnpled Ihe f<d- 
: 1 snmclimes eoiiiieet (he 

w iiidiiw w II II that leading 
III III Irom a series of win 

I. Iiv means of a lino eoii- 

-. 7. having allaclied (<• i( 
light spring eli;i of 
being slipped iicio 
, Ml Ihe Ilidiealing 
.mill Ihe ..Ihci wile 

lii-lllg cai I led aei (l^s 

piolccli'il. I ll-e a 
1 fill lliis line pill- 

W 1 11 

■ ■iieiul pa 
W hen lliii 

as not 111 inlerlere with the 

■iiiig Ihriiiigli Ihe w iiidow springs. 

aii.iiigeil, any alleliipt at fiircing 

' ill 1'. p. me ol ubiss III any allempl lo enlei will 

eilliei lireaK Ihe lino wne/' il lopiill 

j the spring clips olV from (lie win-.s h', mi w Ineli 

I llie> have been sliliped, and thus liie.iU the 

I eiii'iiil and give ihe al.iiiii. If lirefiMied, (his 

I will/' ma\ lie iemii\ 111 mil of the wii\-, except 

■ wliiii lis use IS rcipiiicd. Il may lie rueied 

Willi .1 piiileeling couliiig of siimii cujur Ihal 

will lender It neaily invisible at ni^lil. 

.\ convenient ai riingeiiie.iil of the last de- 
sdibcd metlioil of protection is to attach per- 
miuieiitlN looiie side of Ihe w indow frame ii 



Hitmll spiiiij,'-linx, //', I'^i^;. 7, in whicli I lie uiic 
/' ni;iy lio cdilcd ii|i liy llio iclimliipii ol a 
.s|irihi:, (ill .1 tiKiiiiicr siiiiiliii' lo tlml used lui' 
taiK! iiiciisiitcs,) one. end of llic niil licin^ in 
(•(>iil;i<;l Willi one <if the circ.iiitwircs //', iiiid ;i 
(•li)i licinn iiltiH'lii'd l(t IIic (illiiT (lid of llir 
wire/', H(i Mini tins vviii- iniiv Itc ili n\\ n mil nl 
tlicliox (/', wlicii i('i|iiire<l, nciiiss IIk' windiiw, 
luid lll(^ ('li|i (III llu> end (il 11 iiiii.v lir- :il IiiiIm-iI 
to llio other « iic, /i', oT the circiiil on llic up 
poMile side of I he v\ indow. 

IiiNloiid III' llic aliiiin iipparaliis alunc t\i- 
rtcribcd, I soiiii'liiiH's dispense, with the iiia^'iiii 
F and Imtleiv I) and use a hell iiin^' liy me 
elinnieal power, (he Kiune l)eint,' so aiiaii;;ed 
tliat when Iiy the lirealiin;; of eit liei' oiieof the 
indicating,' eireiiils the annatnii' _/' is ihiown 
hack hy ilsspiiii},') it. shall let oil' a delenl, 
which will allow the powoi' uniplo.\ •■(! lo iin;,- 
Ihe hell to act. 'I'lie ways of const iiicliii^,' 
alarm • hells whK:Ii arc niiif,' by iiicclianical 
power, and where the riiif^iiif; is pennilled by 
the inolioii f^iieii liy niachiiiery to a del en I, aic. 
well known and nee(l not be here (hvse.ribed ; 

hut ill my iincniicn |1 lolioii of llie dcleiil 

is caused mil by theactiini o! any part oldie 
nicchaiiisiu of the. bell itself, but by the move- 
inentof the ariiiatiin! cansc'd by tii(; breakin;,' 
of the electric. <:ii'e.iiit, ill (he manner siibstaii' 
liallv as described. 

\S'lieii 11 sei icH ol iiidicatiii(r cireiiii., is ('in- 
ployed, the elosiiij,' of eilher one. of tlieiii draws 
I'lp to llie iiriniiliire iti.d thereby allowH the 
inoM'iiiciit ol the detent, and the alsiriii iippa 
rains is set in inolion. I hider ccrlaiii eiiciini 
sliinees a sepanilc iiliiiiri appiirntiis may bi' 
dispi used uilh, (he nois;e made by the anna 
tines coming in conliicl. \utli the iiiii^nets be 
iii^' sii llie ie lit lo ^'i\'e. the alarm. Such met hod, 
however, I do not leconimend. 

I Icieiiiliiloie the, Icllcis of the. iiidicalor 
have been rcpiesenled as e.xpo.m-d to view by 
llie motion of llie iirmntiircs of the indicator- 
ma;,'ncls ; but it is olu Ioiih that otiier met hods 
of i lid icalinj; may be cm ployed, as, for i list mice, 
poinlint,' lo a woiil or letter (m- number. 

What I claim as my invent loll, and desire lo 
secure, by l,ett<^r.M I'ateiil, is — 

The improved house alirni hercinbehire de- 
scribed, consisting; of a comi>ination of the fol- 
lowiiif^ cleinenls, \\7.: lirsl.a series of electro 
iiia;,'iieli(; circuils; second, an indicator todes- 
i;,'nale the respective circuits ; third, an alarm 
apparatus ; fourth, the window ordoorsjirin^s, 
tli(i whole opeialiii;,', us set foi ill, to sound the 
alarm and indicate the circuit attacked. 


Wit liesses : 

lll.'.NIIV W. II A VNi;, 
'riln,^. It. ItoAiii. 


No. 20,970. 

Burglar Alarm. 

Patented July 20, 1858. 


Appendix J 

U.S. Patent No. 118,231 
Elisha Gray, of Chicago, Illinois 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Annunciators 

August 22, 1871 



United States Patent Office. 


SpocKlcatloii foriiilnf; part of Letters Pntoiit No. UH/i-Tl, dutcj AuKiiat22, 1871. 

To all whom it may concern: 

Bcitknowii tliatl, Ki.isHA Gray, of Cliicngo, 
ill iLc county of Cook and StjiUMif IlliiioiH, liavc 
invented a liew and useful Iniiuoveinent in Klee- 
tro-Mn^a'tic, Annunciators; and 1 <lo Iiereby de- 
dare tlic following to he a fnll^ cl(tar, anil exact 
dcMcription Miereof, wliicli will enable otlieix 
Hkille<l in the ait to wliieli my invention apper- 
tains to make and use tlie same, refereiu'c beiii',' 
ba<l to tlie aecomiiaiiying di-,i\\in>,' formiii},' part 
of this sp(!cilication, in which — 

Figure I is a toji view of my invention. Fig. 
li is an inveited transvei-se longitudinal section 
of the same,. Fig. .'{ is a side elevation taken on 
line rt f(. Fig. 4 is vertical longitudinal section 
on line d il, and Fig. .5 is an enlarged detached 
Bcetion of the knoli ciniiloyed in levei-sing the 
electric cuneut. 

Similar let tcrsof reference indicate e:)nes|)ond- 
iug i)arts in the several ligures of the drawing. 

The object of my invention is to ]U-ovide an 
aiiniinciatorfor the use of hotels and otiier simi- 
lar public buildings, by which the number of the 
i-ooin or rooms from which the c^ill is made may 
lie indicated upon the dial; and the. iin]»rove- 
mcnt consist.s in an electro-magiietie arninge- 
ineiit eommunii-ating from the ai>ailmeiit witli 
the dial, a description of which in det^iil will be 
liereiiiaft«r fully given. 

ill the accompanying drawing, A'leiiresents 
the case, which may be as shown or of any known 
form, which will receiv e the o|terating parts of 
the instrument. U is a metal plate, wlii(;li is firm- 
ly allixed to the inner side of said (-ase, and upon 
which is mounted the electro-magnets 1) I)' I)". 
Each limb of said magnets is connected at its 
opi)Osit<' ends from the plate by inet^il heelpieces 
a an firmly allixed to the aibor or bearing (»f the 
same. EK' l^" are shafts, oik^ end ol' which have 
al)earing witliiii plate M, and are pivoted at the 
o])lM)sit<! end to or u]>on set-screws il d <l, which 
are secured within stnipsri, by which the; same 
are liehl in )>rop<'r adjustment. Allixed npcni 
said sliafts, between jilate B and the end of the 
magnet-s, are steel needles or armatures c c >\ 
which aie i)roperIy hardened and magnet iy.ed. 
Haid needles or armatures are so arranged as to 
have an aiitonialie tilting movement, by the re- 
ciprocal it)ckiiig movement of the shafts, iin- 
jiailed theretx) by the electrical ciiirent from th<i 
uiagiietH. Attaclied to plate IJ are lugs///. 

which arc so airanged as to prevent the said ar- 
matures from coming in cont;i(-t with an<l against 
the poles of the electro-magiu'ts as the s;imear(i 
tilted by the eU^ctrical current. Said lugs are 
usually made of cork, but they niay be made of 
any suitable material. F I'"' F" are light metal 
indicating- pointers, which are liiiiily aflixed to 
the outer ends of said arbors in front' of plate It 
immediately under the figures marked upon the 
dial. Attached to the outer side of the. cast; are 
metal springs (1 (i' and II II', whi(-ii are bent in 
proper siiape to bring their ont('r ends in contact 
with and against metallic rings 1 and 1' allixed 
upon the knob-spindle .1, whicrh is secured to the 
|>roiect ing portion A' of tin- case. Said rings are 
insulated one fioih the other, and their perijdiery 
<-ut into two se|iarate |)arts, forming in each a 
long and short section. The short section of ring 
I is connected to the long se(rti<Mi of ring 1', and 
(he short section of ring 1' is connected to tlm 
long section of ring I, by which the electri<;al 
current is conveyed from one to the other. Af- 
lixe<l to the short section of ring 1 is a pin or 
jiivof, //, to which is attached a curved spring, /(, 
.so an-.inged as to come in contact with and jiass 
ovei- jioints L, iM,and N, which are iiermaiieiitly 
attache<l to projection A' of the case, as said knob 
or commutator is revolveil, the s;imc l>eingsoar- 
i-.inged as to admit of a rt'cipnK-al seniiaiinular 
rotary movement. .Vttuched to and upon the 
kiiob-s])indl(^ <l of the commutator is a coiled 
spring, /', which is .so arninged as to force the 
s:iid knob back to its |ut>)>er position as the s;iine 
is ixitateil partially around, and firmly holding 
the sjiine against a stop|iin, /, secured in the said 
projection. Alllxe<l to the said ]>oiiits L, M, and 
X are wir(!S K, S, and 'J', which are each attached 
at<ine(;nil to the magnets 1) D' D", the, opposite 
ends of each leading to ditl'erent rooms having 
inimb(;rs correspoMding with th(^ numbers indi- 
cated upon the dial. Within each sepanite i-oom 
is seemed a ciicnit-closer, the mani|>iilati(Mi of 
which <'aiises a contact between the wire c<iin- 
iiiiinicating with the room and the common re- 
tiiriiwire iii. Oiu' end of each wire K, S, andT 
is soldered to the core of the magnets D 1)' J)", 
which are in direct conta<t with the plate 11. 
Allixed to the core of the magnet 1) is a wire, h, 
which communicates with spring II. l''irmly af- 
llxe<l to s))riiigH (! t!' are wires O O', which are 
conne(;ted witli the [loles of u giilvanic battery. 



Tlic oitcratioii of my invention is as follows: 
As tlic <)('c,ii)i;mt of room No. 1, for instiiiico, 
m:iiiiinil!it<'s tlio circuit-closer the cloc.triciil ciii- 
r(!iit will iiass from wire O' through R|iiiii;r (}', 
lonf,' section of ling 1', short section of riiif: 1, 
Kprinj; H to tlic common return-win! vi; tliciice 
tlironf;li the ixxim to wire 11; thence thi-uii;:li 
niiif^netl), iihitc ]!, .spring,' G, long section of riii;; 
I, short section of ring I', 8i)ring II', iind w ireO 
to the |io!c of the lijittery. The eleetnc^il cur- 
rent hiivinp ])nssc(l through m:ign(;t I) in sucli :i 
<lii-ec.tion :is to dexclo]) a polarity similar to that 
already in the aiijiroximate i)oles of the needle- 
aruniture c, hence a mutual repulsion takes jilacc 
hetween the ajiproximatc )>oles of the magnets 
and a mutual attnu-tion hetween the more dis- 
tant ones, tlic oliject of which is to lilt needle r 
to a reversed jiosilion, which carries iioiiitcf 1" 
n))on Fig. 1 of the dial, the. sjimc current ringing 
a Itell secnre<l ujioii the return-wire. 1'he. call 
having been made and the. nundierof the room 
noted, it now remains to restore the jiointer to 
its former position, w hii^h is done. l>y turning the 
knob of tlic commntatoi' until spring // makes a 
contact with point N, thus changing springs 1111' 
from the short s<'ctioris of lings I and J', which 
brings spring 11' in direct contact with spring (!', 
and sitring II with s[)ring (!, by which meansihe 
electrical curi-ent )ia.'<.s<'s from wire () to and 
thiiiugli spring G', thniugh the long section of 
ring 1', slnnt section of ring f, spring II, metal 
l>oiiit N, wire K, magnet I), plate 11, spring II, 

long section of ring I, sjiring G, and wire O' to 
the pole of the batteiy ; thus the elec^trieal cur- 
ic.nt will pass through magnet 1) in a reverse di- 
icction from that which was inodnced by the 
manipidation of the |-o<nn circuit-closer, by which 
a r('ver><e ed'ect is jiroduecd upon needle f, which 
rest(n'es jtointer l"' to its original position. 

The same o])eration may be icpeat-ed in alike 
mannci' with any other nundjcr which will ]iro- 
dnce a corresponding I'esult. 

IIa\ing thus desci-ilie(l my invention, what 1 
claim as new, and desire to sccme by Letters Pat- 
ent, is — 

J. The anangcment of eiicuits for o|»crating 
th(! nee<lle ov armature c either forward or back- 
ward by the electrical current, substantially as 
and for the ))inpose set I'orth. ' 

-. The commutator .1 i>(' an clectronmgnetic 
annunciator, constructed and arranged to oper- 
ate .suli.stantially a.s and for the s])e(alied. 

.'!. 'J'lie sjirings (i (!' II 1 1' and wires It S '1\ in 
combination with ling.s I and I' of the commuta- 
tor.!, tiie whole arranged .sub.slani iall\' as and 
for the purpose dcscrilicil. 

•I. 'J'lie spring A, in cciniliiiialiiiu with jioints L, 
,M, and .\, ari-anged as described, whereby the 
electrical current is rever.sed, substantially as 
and for the i(nr|iose specilied. 



N'. G. GitlDi.KV, 
N. II. Siiki;uui:m;. 


^\,uVa (itav^'s 


3 Patrxtf 






Appendix K 
Western Electric Annunciator Patents 

Reissue 6,825 of U.S. Patent No. 118,231 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Annunciators 

Elisha Gray, December 28, 1875 

U.S. Patent No. 162,057 

Improvement in Electric Annunciators 

Elisha Gray, April 13, 1875 

U.S. Patent No. 114,007 

Improvement in Hotel -Annunciators and Fire-Alarms 

Edward A. Hill, April 25, 1871 

Design 8,999 

Design for Annunciator-Dials 

Charles W. Lewis, January 3, 1876 

U.S. Patent No. 176,784 

Improvement in Electric Annunciators and 

Fire-Alarm Conductors 

Edward A. Hill, May 2, 1876 


United States Patent Office. 



Spocincalon forming part of Lcltem Patent No. 118,-Wl, dated Angnsta-^, 1871; reiwue No. «,N'J3, J»ted 
Decomber 28, lK7r>; apiiliciilion <il('a December 2, 187:1. 

To all whom it wny concern : 

J5c it known lliiit, I, ICi^i.siiA (iiiAV, of (jlii- 
caRO, i" ""' loiii't.v of 'Jook mid Stiitf of Illi- 
nois, liavf.iiivcntcdivin'w ami useful Iinprovt'- 
incut ill lOiftclroMiiKiictic Aunuiiciiitor.s; iiiul 
I do lipreliy declare tlie followiiit,' to be a full, 
clear, and exact dc.scrii>lioii thereof, wliicli 
will eiialile others Nkilled in the art to which 
my invention a|.|ierlain.s to make and use; llie 
Ra'iiic, reference lieinj; had to the accompany- 
iiif; drawing', forminj,- part of tlii.s specilleation, 
in which — 

Figure 1 i.s a front view of my annunciator. 
FiK- - 'i^ ■'" iuverted hui^itudinal 
Bectiou of t lie. same. I'ij,'. .1 in a .side <'levalii)n 
tjikoii on line a <i. I'lK- •> ^^ a vertical huini 
tudiiial .section on line (/'/, and 1''!^. T) i.s an 
eidaine.«l detiiclieil ^'^•<;^ion of Uu> kiioh cm- 
jdoycd in leversiiiK the electric current. 

Similar letlcti.s of relerence in<licate e.orre- 
spODdiuK parl.s in the. several fiuiires of the 

The. oliject of my invention i.s to pi()vi<li' an 
.anmincialor lor tiie use of holel.s and other 
\iiuilar jiulilic Imildin^'s, \ty which the num- 
ber of the. room or room.s Iroiii which the call 
is ina<le may be indicated upon tin! <lial. 

The invention coii.sisls in an eleclro inaf,'- 
iictic arranncmeiit communicating from the 
apartment with tlieilial; and also in the com 
bimilion of adial, bearing iiiii"'*><'r'< correspond 
int; to <lillereut rooms and iudicaliuKpoinls, 
11.S will bo hen-inafter fully described. 

In the accoinpaiiyin;; drawiiif;, A reprrscnis 

oted at the oiipositc end tooru])ou scL-screw.s 
d d d, which are secured within .straps a, by 
which the .same arc held in pro[)er adjiistinent. 
Alli.ved upon said r.hafts, bt-tweeii plate M and 
the end of the mn^nets, are steel needles or 
iirmalures r <■ r, wnicli are properly hardened 
and nia;^iieti7,ed. .Said needles oi armatures 
are .so arranged as to ha\(' an automatic tilt- 
inn movement by the reeiiuocal roekiuf,' move 
ment of the sliafls, imparle<l thereto by thr 
eh'ctiicalf.urreni Irom the ina unci s. Attached 
U> the idate I! are lu^s ///, winch are ,so ar- 
ran^'e(l as to prevent the said aiinalures from 
coudnK in conlma with and a^ the iiolew of 
the eh'clro-maunets, as tlu' same arc. tilted by 
the electri(Ml current. .Said lu;js are usually 
made of cork, lull they may be made of any 
suitable material. 

F I'"' I''" are lit;lit metal indicatiiifj-poiiilerM, 
which arc tirmly allixe<l to the outer eiid.s of 
said arbors in friuit of plate M. immediately 
umicr the ii^jures maiked upon the dial. At- 
tached to the outer side of the case are metal 
springs (I (1' and II II', which are bent in 
proper shape to liiin^' t heir out <.,r ends iu con- 
tact with and aK.iinst metallic rini,'s I and I' 
atlixed upon the kiioli spindle .1, wliicli is se 
cured lo the projcclmi; piulion A' of I he 
Said niiKS an' in.sulat^-d one from the. other, 
and their periphery cut into two separate 
parts, loriniiit,' in •■ach a loiiK and .short .sec- 
tion. The short s(-cliim of rin;; I is coiinecle.d 
to the liHij; section ol riiiu' I', ami the short 

.section .if riliK' I' is ci eleil to tin- loiiU s.t 

tion I.I riiUC I, by which 1 he electrical current 
is conveyed from •. I o I lie ol her. .Mlived In 

the, which may be as shown, or ot any 

known form, whicli'will receive tin- operating .,,,...„ 

I.arl.s of the inslrumeiil. U is a metal plate, i the short section ol rii.K I is a pin oi pivot, r/, 

which is llrmly alll.xed to the inner Hi'l'"- 'd' I to which is attached a curved ..prm^^/..^so^l^^^^ 

naid case, and upon which are moimted I he ranged 

,:lec.tro-niat;iiels I) I )' l>". The dial It' is 

idaced directly in front o! the iilale II, to 

which it may Ik secured. Numbers or other 

inarks coriespon'dini,' to the,'nalions of 

dilleieiit rooms in the buildini,' are placed 

upon the dial in any suitable iiianner, and nn 

<lcr any convenient arriint,'enieut. I'-ach limb 

ol saiii niii^'iiets iscoiinecied at its opposite 

ends from the plate by metal lieelpieci's n a n, 

lirmly alli.\ed to the arbor or beai iiiK of the 

Hanie. V) I'/ I." are shafls, one end of wliiih 

liave a bearing williin plate I!, ami are pi\ 

to eome in <-oiiliict with iiul pass 
i.ver points h, .M, and N, whieli are perma 
neiilly altaehe.l to piojeclioii A' of the ease, 
as said knob or coiiimiilator is revolved, the 
same beinn soariaii;;cd as (o admit ol u le 
ciprocal semi aiiiml.ii movement. /\ t- 
tached to and upon Ilie kn-.U spindle .1 of the. 
rommntalor is a coiled spi in;;, i, which is mo 
i.nan^ed as to Inive I he s. ml knob bark to it.s 
pro|ier position, as the s.iiiir is rot.ileil par- 
Hulls aioiiiul, and liiiiilv li.ildiii- llie same 
auaiiist a slop |.ih. /. se, iii,-d m Hh- sud pro 

j,.,.tioll. .\lli\e.l I., llie S.O.I polllls I,, M, .uul 



N Hrt> vNirtu K, S, ami T, wliioli aro oiirli nl 
tnrliod 111 (iii(> cml to llio iiiiiK'ntitM D I)' D". 
tlie opiMiMito (MkU of ciicli Inidiii^j to ililVcrcnl 
roonm, iniviin; iiiiiiiImth corroMitoiKliiij; with 
llif imiiilicrK iM(licnlc<l ii|i()ii tliinliiil. NVitlilii 
caoli wpnrnti' room in Kcciiri'd a clrciiitcloni^r, 
tint miiiii|)iiliilioM iiT ciuimch a rdiiliii'l 
iHstwffii llic «lrn coiiimmiicMVlliiK witli llic 
room ami llio common rrtiiriiwiro <n. Oim 
fiiil of i-acli wlro 1{, H, and T In Moldciod to 
tlio copK of llio miKMclM I> l>' U", wlilili ail- 
ill diK'ct i-oiiliicl Willi tli«|>lato It. AHIxi'd to 
tlM> coro of tlio Miiij.'iu'l I) Im li wire, ii, uiii<'li 
commuiii(<4(tof« v\illi ttprlinj II. l'"irmly at 
ta(!lMMl to s|iriiii:>« (1 (!' arc \vir«M« () ()', wiiiili 
Rrc ooiuicclwl with tlio poIcK of a ({rtlviinic. 

Tliropcratimi of my invmilioii U n« foliovvM-. 
Ah tln^ occupant of room No. 1, for iiiHtaiicc, 
nmnipnlali'H llic liniiil donor, tim clcittrical 
ciirr<-iit will piiMK from wiro ()' lliroMj,'li Hprlng 
(J', loiii: Kcrlion of riin; I', nliort. xoclion of 
rini; I, hprinj; II, to llic comtiioii rclnrnwiro 
m; lliiMKT lliroii^li lln< room to wire; U; tliciicn 
^lll()ll^;ll iiiiiKiiol I), plalc M, Hpriup (i, loiiR riin; I, short sriMlon of riiij; I', 
fprln^; II, and >vir(i (), to Iho pole of the liat- 
Icry, llic (•lc<'lrl(al r.iirrciil having pimnod 
tliroMcli maK'icl I> In niKdi a direction an to 
develop a jHihirlty Kunilar to IhatMilrcady in 
the i(p|in»xlinatc polcR of the ne<Mll(< nrmatiire 
f; Iienc4' a mutmil repiiNioii liikeM pliic.*^ In*- 
twccn the approximiilc polen of lliu miiKiielH, 
niid n mntiial iillrai'lion l)ctM'(M'ii the 
diHtanl oiicH, the <ilijec.l of which Im to tilt 
l)C<vlle e to a reversed iKjRJtion, which ('arrie.i 
liointer I'' upon l''li:nre I of llin diiil, the 
hiiine ciirreut r\\\n\i\i[ a hell n«<oiiro<l upon the 
return-wire, 'riicciill having Ixmmi ma^lc, and 
tliu nntnher of the room noted, it now reinainN 
to rcHlorc the point4T to it« lormer pimiiion, 
%vliic;li it done liy tiirniiiK tlie knohof the (vim 
tnnlator niilil nprln^ h tnakeM n contm't with 
|K)int N, tlin« (■liini^inj,' «prln(;n 11 II' fioin the 
nlmrt McctioiiM of liii^jM I itiid I', which tnin^H 
ii|»rliii( ir In direct contact with npriii^ (i', 

and KpriiiK II with xpiin;; (i, liy which nieaiiii 
the electrical current pa.-..„ « from wire O to 
ami through spriiin (1' thro.iKh the loiijj hcc- 
tion of rinjf I', nliort nectio'i of riiif; I, Hjiring 
II, metal point N, wiro It, ma((not I), plato Ii, 
Hpriii(: II, loiiK neclion of rinp I, uprinp O, 
mid wire ()', to the pole of the Imttcry. 'J'him 
the electrical current will piv«s thiiMi^h ma^ 
net I) in a reverne direc.lioii from that 
witn pKxIuccd liy the manipulation of the room 
circuit clo.ior, li\' which ii rc\ cimc elicit in pro- 
duced upon Ihe needle r, which rc.<<lorcrt pointer 
I'" lo ilN oriyiiial poMitioii. The siuiie operation 
may he repeated in a like manner with any 
other iiiimlicr, which will produce a corre- 
N|M)ndin(; result. 

Ilaviin; thiiH dcscrilH'd my invention, whnt 
I chdiii an new, ami ilcdro to Mcciire hy lA.'t- 
tei« Patent, Ih — 

1. 'I'lie arrangement of circuits for operat- 
ing the nrc<lle or armature r either forward 
or liackward liy the eleclri<-al current, muI>- 
Htantiiilly an and for the pcirpo,M(! set forth. 

2. The cominulator J of an electro ■ maj;- 
uelic annunciator, con.strncled and airan^'ed 
to<)|)eral<^ Niilislaiitinlly mm and for the piir- 
|K)!«o Kpecilled.. 

;». Tlie spiiiiKu () ('.', II II', and wires U S 
T, in comliina;ion with liii;,'** I and I' of tlii; 
commnt4iloi' .1, the whole arranj^ed HuhMtan- 
tiatly a« and for the purpone dowcrilied. 

4. The Mpring li, in comhinalion with polnt:^ 
I/, ,M, anil N, nrrmiu'*"! an de.><cril>ed, whereliy 
the electrical (Mirrciit ii reversed, Mil I tit an tin liy 
i\H and for the piupuMc npccincd. 

'i. TIki comliination, MtiliHlaiitially ax <lc' 
Ncrilied, of a dial, lieaiiiic nuinlH'r.i or other 
character.-* corre^pundln;; to the deMi^^iiatioMH 
of ilirTcrent roonm in a linildinc and movahln 
Indicating; pointers correHpondinjjto the char- 
iictcfi upon the dii\l, us ami for the piirpoAOH 
Mcl forth. 

i:i,I.SIIA C.UAY. 

Wit iici»e« : 

IlK.IMlIfll 1'. IlKUM.S, 



j^j 5 825. Reissued Dec. 28, 1875. 



/ y/////7//y/v///A/////////-7^^^^^ 
''''■^ '^ J':i,.',lia r,r(jij, 



United States Patent Office. 


Sii>oiricatloii foriMliig part of Letter, ratcnt No. 103,037, ilatcd April i:i, ItTG; niii)licotl<ic filed 

8rpteniber 24, I-iTJ. 

To nil whom it mntj concent: 

]t(i it known tlii'it I, Ki-isnA Gkay, of Clii- 
c(\;;(), in the county of Cook and St;ito of Uli- 
nol.<<, liavc invented ccrtnin new and nscful 
Juiiirovenients in IvIcctriciU Annnnciatois. of 
whicii tlic foliowin{r i.s a full, clear, and exact. 
dc.'<cri|)tion, Avliicli will enable others skilled 
ill the art to whicli my ii vcntion aii|)ertains 
to inako and ii.-^e the siinio, reference lieins: 
had to thc! acconii>anyin^' drawing, forming a 
pait hereof, and in whicli — 

Fi/,'iiro 1 i.s a froiitelcvalioii of an aniiiinci:" 
t(ir cmlxxlyiii;; my invention. l'"i;j. 2 i.s a rear 
elevation of tlie same; I'^i^'.^, a vertical cross- 
section of the plate to which the ]iolc.s of thc 
magnet are attached, certain other parts being 
shown in elevation; and Fig. 4, a rear eleva- 
tion of certain ]ia its shown in Fig. li, the mag- 
nots being removed. 

Like letters of reference indicate like i)art.s. 

Jly object is to simplify and imiirove the con- 
struct ion and operation of that cla.Hs of electric- 
al annnnciators usually employed for sending 
(^alls from thc rooms to. the ollico in hotels and 
other li(iildings,aii<l forsiudlar purjtoses; and 
to that end my invention consists in certiiin 
novel fc;itiires, siibstjiiitially as hereinafter de- 
scrilKid, relating to tli(< method and mciinsem- 
pIo3'e(l for the i)iiri>OH0 of aceomplisliing the 
object above set forth. 

In thc drawing, A represciit-s thc case of the 
nnnunciator. 'riienumerical characters in Fig. 
1 designalo the various rooms in the building. 
]1 is a bniss plate attJiched to the case. C C 
arc ordinary electroinagnets, tlu^ [loles of 
which are attached atone end to the plate H. 
]) \) aio soft-iron armatures, each pivoted to 
the jilato, as shown at d d. J)' I)' are arnni- 
ture-levers, rigidly attached to thc armatures 
D 1). The outer or free ends of these levers 
are made hook-shaped, as shown, d' d' are 
sloppiiis, against which the armatures icst 
wlicM in their normal position, a sundl space 
then existing between the arnuUiires an<l the 
jioles of tliemagnets. 'J'he hook-shaped arma- 
luie-levers are the essential novel features in 
connection with the armatures. lO 10ar(^Mpill- 
(lles passing freely through the plate li, and 
to the onler ends of these index -hands or 
]n)lntA'is F F are rigidly attached. These 
spliidloa uro capable of a free rotary luove- 

mout. (! <i are irregularly-shaped arms, rig- 
idly attached to the spindles JO JO. The form 
of these arms is such tiuit thoy nr.iy Ivo on- 
gaged by the aruniture-levers when the arma- 
turea rest against the stops d' </', and sucli 
that they may also then re-st iie;irly against 
the armatures, as is plainly shown in I'^ig. -1. 
H H arc vertiwilly-slidiug bars inovided with 
the lateral arms A /i, extending sutUciently for 
contai:t with the parts G G when thc said bars 
are moved for thc of re-sloriug the in- 
(h/xliands lo their normal [lositioii, and sudi- 
eiently to sui>port the parts G (J when tlielat- 
U^v are not engaged by thc levers D' J)', as 
will hereinafter more fully appear. The bars H 
II rest on the horizontal bar 1, pivoted at each 
end to the i)arallel inclined arms .1 J, the lower 
end of which latter are pivoted to thoplat^^H. 
The bar 1 rests on the crauk-arm Jv, and K' is 
a crank arm or lever arnmged e.xternally to 
the, and attached to the same nxl or shaft 
to which the arm K is fastened. /.' is a stop- 
pin, on which the arm K rests. The battery 
may be arranged in any convenient idaco. 
One end of the wire of each magnet iscarrie<l 
to an iusidated biuding-i>ost, L, there being 
one of tlie latter to each magnet, and the other 
end is carried to the heel of the .same magnet, 
thus connecling the latter with the plate 15. 
A circuit-wire is carrie<l from the plate B to 
e;ieli nxim, and amither from each room to a 
correspon<lingbin<ling-post, \j. These larcuits 
may be eonnectc<l by means of a common key 
arranged in each room. The battery- wire may 
be arranged in the eiixuitin the usual nninner. 

When the key in the room No. 1, for exam- 
ple, is depressed, thecurrent will pass through 
a eon-espoiidiug magnet in the annunciator, 
and the arnmlnio of this magnet will bo at- 
tracled to the poles of the same magnet, liy 
this means the lever of the armature so at- 
tracled relea-^es the piece G, operating in ciui- 
neetion with it, and this iiieee falls upon tho 
next lower arm /(, and, in falling, moves acor- 
respou<ling pointer, F\ toward the llgnro 1, 
thus iudii-.atiiig Ihat a call is made from room 
Mo. 1. A call from any other unim may bo 
nnule in like nniuner. 

Jn order to set tho indicator alter one or 
nioio calls have been made, tho lever Jv' is 
80 uio\ed us to raise the bar 1, thus also rais- 



hip the Imrs II II, and lifting such of the pieces 
O G as may have fallen upon the arms h h, 
tliuspnshinptlio armatures from the poles, and 
allowing the arniatiirelevcrs to engage the 
\tarts G G and hold thorn up, thereby restor- 
ing the point^'rs to their normal iwsition. 

When the lever K' is released the annun- 
ciator will bv set, it being understowl that the 
circuit throiigii tlio magnet is broken by re- 
loiwirig the key in the room, Cnrtuins may 
bo cmjiloycil instead of the pointers, and viv- 
rious niCHiia may bo U80<1 to restore the parts 
G G to their engagemont with the armature- 
lovers. The normal jMisitiou of the armatures 
is against the jiins d' d', 

I It will bo observed, from the foregoing do- 
Rcription, that no sjirings are emi»loyexl in 
connection with any of the moving parts; 
also, that all theiiiecesG G are slightly moved 
each time any of them is set., thus preventing 
the spindles to which they are attachetl from 
becoming rigidly set on account of rust, dust, 
or hardenc<I grease and grit, and keeping 
them in free working condition at all times. 
The armatures are i)U8hed from their jwlea 
through the instrumentality of mechanism 

employed to restore the pointers to their nor- 
mal position. 

Having thus described my invention, what I 
claim as new, and desire to secure i)y Letters 
Patent, is — 

1. Thearmaturo I), provided with thchookcd 
levers D', in combination with the tilting piece 
G, rigidly coi)necte<l to the index, and con- 
structed and arningcd substantially as shown 
and described, to bo struck by the restoring 
mechanism, to strike the said armature, and 
to bo engaged by the said lover, us and for tlio 
purposes sot forth. 

2. The combination of the pivoted arma- 
ture ]), provided with the hooked lever 1)', 
the tilting piece G, rigidly attached to the 
spiiulle or sleeve of the index, and the sliding 
bar II, provided with the extensions /( h, tlio 
I)icce G being con8tructe<l and arranged to bo 
struck by the sjiid extensions, to strike the 
said armature, and to bo engaged by the said 
lover, all substantially as and for the purposes 

Witnesses: ELISIIA GRAY. 

11. M., 
Enos M. Bakton. 


Electric Annunciator, 

No. 162.057. 

Pttented April,13. 1875. 

12 d 

^'C ■ o O 


F'rgr- 3 

J^iQ. 4 




United States Patent Office. 


i^lircijiailioii forming part of Lcttirs Vatcnl Ko. 1M,007, <]nicd April 'J5, 187L 

To all triiom it co). cm : 

lie it known Ui'at I, ICuwAiiD A. llll.i., of 
Oliicapo, ill tlio county of Cook and State of 
Illinois, iiavo invented a new iind \i.sofnl Ini- 
inoved Hotel- Annunciator luid I'iro-Alann ; 
and 1 do liereliy d<!claie tlio loUowinp; to bo a 
fnll, clear, and exact doacription of tbo Banie, 
reference l)cing had t^i the following drawing 
and the lettcr.i and (iKnrcs marked tlicreon, 
which form a jiart of tliis speeiftcutiou, in 
which — 

Figure I represents a froiit elevation of luy 
annunciator; Tig. 2, a perspective view, show- 
ing tiio construction of the annui\ciat«r and 
Hie manner in which it is connected with the 
interior of rooms in the hotel ; and Fig. 3, a 
sectional view of the knob and its attach- 
iiients used for clo.sing the circuit in each 

The nature of iny invention coiisi.sts in the 
construction and oi>eration of the mechauism 
Lcrc-aftcr described, by which the curtaiu or 
blind i.s moved to indicate the numbers on the 
dial of the annunciator designating the room 
the signal is given from. And it also coiiaist.s 
in the combination of the iicrniaiicnt magnet, 
and the wires connected with it, with the mag- 
net A, HO as to shunt said magnet, as Iier^fter 
described; and in the (Ireatarni meclianisin 
arranged in each room, so that, by the expan- 
sion produced by heat, a permanent circuit is 
forinc<l, which gives a constant alarm, as here- 
after described. 

To enable those skilled in the art to under- 
stand how to niaiuilacturo and use my inven- 
tion, I will juoceed to describe the sanio with 

The same letters of reference refer to the 
corresponding parts in the dilleront ligures. 

In the ;uinc\eil drawing, It and (J reiuesent 
a portion of the interior of two rooms and the 
annnnciator, which is located in the ofllco of 
the hotel, with three coil- magnets, one of 
which. A, is a geneial magnet connected with 
all the others, and (ho other two, It' and C, 
are special magnets to each room, Hand (), 
and are connected directly by wires each with 
it-s particular room. I have as many special 
mag""'? as I have rooms, each magnet being 

connected by a special wire with its particular 

In the annexed drawing, \V is the sjiecial 
magnet for the room 11, and C for the rocnn (), 
I) is the galvanic battery, one pole of which 
is connected, through th(^ thumb screw V. and 
wire F, to the coil-magnet A, that being what 
I call the general magnet, on account of being 
connected with all the special or room mag- 
nets. It is connected with the special or room 
magnets by the wire 11', wiiich connects it 
with the plate I, with which all of said mag- 
nets are connect-ed, as hereafter described. 

The magnet C has one en<l of its wire .) at- 
tached to the plate 1, while tli(( other end is 
connected with the knob M in the room U, 
and the wire K of the magnet It' has one end 
also attached to the jdale I, while the other 
end is coniiee.lo.d with the knob M in the 
room 15. 

There is also a wire, N, which is connected 
with one pole of tlio battery through the 
tlinmb screw I,, and is connected with the knob 
M in each of the rooms, so that, when the knob 
M is pulled, !is hereafter described, the circuit 
is comitleted lliroiigh that ro(mi and Hie an 

There is a vibrating iirmatnre,0, pivoted in 
the center, and located between the iioles of 
each coil-maguet in such a manner that wlien 
a circuit is closed through any one of the 
magnets its armature will bo viliraled by the 
ends of the armature being drawn to the poles 
of the magnet. 

To each of tln^ armatures connected with 
the special or room magnets there is attached 
an arm or projection, I', which, when the arma- 
ture is vibrated by the closing of the circuit, 
strike.'^ against the vibrating arm (^ which 
sujiports the blind or <nrtain U, opposite the 
number on the dial 8 correspomling to the 
number of the room through which the circuit 
is closed. 

'J'ho arms (^ are Kopivoi..'<l to the plate I 
that they will sl^iiid in a i.osition to hold the 
blind U directly behind the numbers on the 
dial S till they are swung. by the iiroJectioiiH 
r, as above described, from behind the num- 
ber to the position in Fig. 1. 



Tlio bliiulfi or omtJxiiiH arc^ swung Ivack into 
|iOHitioii l)y tnrniiiR tliocrnnk U, wliicli slides 
tlio [lioco V, (.lio iiotclirs llioio.oii vilnatiiig the 
iiriiis Q. 

\V Is n, Billing for liiililiiig llio pioco V iiwny 
fioin tlio oiuTnllons of tlio iviiiis Q. only wlioii 
iiiovod by llii' crniik U, n.s nlmvo (Irscrlliod. 

Tli(!ro irt a bollliainiiicr, A', ntUiclied to llio 
r.i iiiaturo O of tlio general iiinpnot A. so that 
wlicn tlio nrniatiiro \a vibrated, as auovc div 
Rc.ribcd, it cmmos tbo lianimer to strike tlie bell 
J)' and give an alarm; and, as tbo gciioral 
inngnot A is connected with all the other mng- 
iict8,wlieiic\er the circuit iscompleted Ihroiigh 
any of the s|>eciftl niagnots it also passes 
through the general magnet A, and cansos tlio 
boll to strike, so that the boll strikes and gives 
tho alnrni at tlio same time that the blind falls 
from behind tlic number on tho dial indicating 
tho nuniber of tho room in which tho circuit 
was comiilotcd. 

Tho bamnierhandlo A' passes through a 
notcb ill tbo vibrating arm K', and it is so ar- 
ranged that Just before tho liammer strikes 
tho bell the handle A' causes tho arm E' to 
vibrato and close a circuit through the wires 
F' and II' and the points at I', wliicli shunts 
tlio magnet A and roliovos tho attraction on 
tho armature, when the spring .1' raises tho 

The permanent mngiiot K' iiolds tho point 
I/, which is thrown against oiio of its arms by 
tho vibration of tho arm K' as tho shuntclr- 
cuit is closed, and lioldH said circuit closed 
until tho hammci-handlo is raised nearly its 
fiiii Miroko, when it strikes Ibo side of the notch 
in Iho vibrating arm }<)' and raises it, which 
opens llio shdut-circuit, and tho circuit is 
thrown through tbo magnet A again, and tho 
strokes of tho hammer aro repeated so long as 
tbo circuic through the room is kept closed. 

When there is no circuit closed through any 
of tbo rooms tho spring J' raises tho hammer, 
and tho point or armnturo 1/ ia liold by tho 
permanent magnet, so that tlio shuntcircuit 
is held open till the current has passed through 
the inagnot A and caused a stroke of tlio liiun- 
mer, as abov6 described. 

Tho shunt abo\'o describe<l also serves the 
additional jiuriKise of increasing the strength 
of tho circuit through the special mngnct of 
tho room in which the circuit is closed. When 
the circuit is first close<l it passes through tho 
magnet A, a,s above described, being weak- 
ened by tlie resistance of that inngnet. As 
soon, lidwever, as tbo circuit through tho 
Hhuiit is oinsod, tho lesiHtance of the iiiugnul, 
A is avoided, and tho force of tho circuit in 
tho Hpecial iiiiigiiel cnriespoiidingiy liicionHed, 
HO that if at (list tho <'iirrenl is not slroiig 
enough to vibrato the armature of the s|wH;iRl 
magnet and lilt tho blind or curtain, as above 
described, tho increased force will ahvtiys 
effect it. 

Tbo circuit ia closed in tho room by pnlling 
tbo knob M and bringing tbo pin a, which ia 
conneclo<l with the wire N through the sjnndlo 
of tho knoll, in contact with tho wire. T. When 
tli(\ knoll M is rulonaed It is thrown back in 
place by tho coll smlng h. c Is a wire or rod, 
0110 end of which is (:onllecU^d with the wire 
N, niid liio (iliicr end with tbo bur c. This rod 
is made of metal, which expands when boated, 
and is so connected with tho bar c that it holds 
tho points at/ apnrt till it expands, and when 
It expands tho spring /; draws tbo points to- 
gether and closes the circnit. 

If the room becomes sufTlciently hot to ex- 
pand the wire c, and the wire can bo so con- 
structed as to expand and close tbo circuit at 
any desired increased temperature, the circuic 
is permanently closed and a constant alann is 
given at the ofOce by tlio striking of the boll 
D', as above dej?cribcd. 

A single signal is given by tho occupant of 
a room by pulling the knob M and releasing 
it; but, in case of a flroin a room saDQciently 
hot to expand the wire c, the circuit is perma- 
nently closed and a continuous signal given. 

The dial S of my annunciator is an ordinary 
glass, covered on the inside with an oparjuo 
substance, such as paint or paper, excepting 
the outlines of tho flgurc-a indicating tbo num- 
bers of tho various rooms, tlioy being made in 
tbo opaque substance and seen through tho 
glnsa, tho blinds behind tho figures being of 
the color of the opa(pio covering of tbo glass, 
and tlio figures to bo obscure till tho blinds aro 
tilt«d, ofl above descril>cd. This is n clioaj), 
simplo way of constructing tbo dial, and causes 
the nuniber of tho room from whicli tho signal 
is given to bo shown very distinctly. 

ijy pivoting the armatures O they can be 
vibrated, ns above described, without over- 
coming a weight or tho force of a spring, which 
baa heretofore been objectionable on account 
of the electric force reqnired to move the ar- 

Having thus fully described tboconstructioii 
and operation of my botel-annunciator, what 
I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Pat- 
ent, is — 

J. The combination of the pivoted arma- 
tures () and lilting blinds or curt.iins It, 
when constriictcd and operating in an annun- 
ciator, Hiilislantiiilly as and for tbo purposes 

'2. Tho combination of the magnet A and 
Hhiiiit with the, special luagnols H' C when so 
constructed and arrangfMl that tho electric 
ciuicnt ])n«K(vs altcrnalcly through tho mag- 
net and shunt auloinatic.ajly, for the jiiirposo 
of slrengthening tho (•nrrenU to the magnets 
]'/ C when llio IllagM(^l A ia slmnled. 

;). Tho perinaiient magnet K' in combina- 
tion with llio sliiintclrcnit and the alarm- 
l>ell, when conatrnctwl and o|>crating substaii 
tiiilly as and for the jiurposes sjiocifled. 



4. The combiimtion of tlio pormanoot mng- 
not K', tlio vibratlnj? nrms L', E', nnd A', 
wfcen construototl nud arrftiiROil Bubslantially 
aa (Icscrlbod, for tbo purpoacB of oponinR and 
closing the circuit of tbo Bbtiiit. 

C. Tlio dial 8, provided witb tranapureut 
figures, in combiuation vritb tbo abifting blind, 
as and for tbe purpose described. 

C. Tlio combination of au electro magnetic 

annunciator and flroalarra, when sai:! flro. 
alarm is so constructed and arranged tliat 
the action of tlio heat closon the same circuit 
used by tlio nnnunciator, snbntantially nn 




L. L. CoiiURN, 




E. A. HILL. 
Improvement in Hotol-Annunciators and Fire-Alarms. 

No. 114,007. Patented April 25, 1871. 


United Si'ates Patent Office, 


Specification foraiing part of Design No. §,999, dated February lu, 187C; application tiled JanQnry 3, 187C. 

i[Tcrni of Patent 14 years.] 

To all whom it may concern : 

Be it known tiiat I, Charles \V. Lewis, 
of the city of Chic.if^o, county of Coolc and 
State of Illinois, liave inventeil a Desifjn for 
a Face or Dial of an Annunciator, of wliicli 
tlic following i.s a specification : 

The nature of my design is fully leiuescnteil 
in the accompanying drawings, to wliiclt lef- 
eieuce i.s made. 

A represents the face or dial plate of tiie 
annunciator, ami is shown slightly in pi-r- 
s)»octive. L> lejiiesents lignres upon theilial- 
]ilate, which aie intenilcd to be tiie same as 
the numbers of the rooms with which the an- 
nunciatoris connected. Letters are sometimes 
used instead of lignres. C are jKiintersoi- in- 
dicators, which are turned to the lignres nr 
letters to indicate the room from which a call 
is made. The dial-iilate .V is made a dark 
color, or jet-black. The ligures 1! are made 
tlie color of gold-leaf, and the indicators are 
made of light metal color, by preference; but 
I do not wish to limit my invention to making 
the figures gold color and the indicators light 
metal color, becjiuse the same contrast be- 
tween the dial, tigures, and indicators could 
be produced by making the indicators gold 
color and the figures liglit-iuetal color, and 

they would produce substantially the same 
a"pear,ince in connection with the black back- 

I have not represente<l the difl'erent colors 

in the drawings, but have shown the dill'ercnt 

parts, .so that, when tal;en in connection with 

this descriiition, my in\ention will be limited 

j to the contrast of colors, substantially as 

I aliove siiecitied, my design, consisting of 

I the dark dial-plate and of the bright tigures 

and indic.tlors nr [loiiiters of different blight 

I colors, making the C(jntrast of colors, and 

presents a \ery attractive appearance. 
I Ha\ing thus described my invention, what 
\ I claim as new, and desire to secure by Let- 
I ters I'atent, is — 

j An ornamental design for an annunciator- 

; dial, consisting of the following features: a 

1 black backgidumljgilt lettersor tigures placed 

I thereon and arranged in rows across the dial, 

ami bright metal pointers corresi)onding in 

number and ariangement to said letters or 

figures, substantially as described. 


llEi.Nuicn F. BuuNS, 
L. M. Harris. 



United States Patent Office. 


.S,M-cinoal'ou lorn,i.,K l-ait <.f I.oU.'.h I'mI.-.I No. ITO.THI , .lalml .Muy 2, lK7r,; application lUod 

Aliiil yl. lH7:i 

2'i> (ill ichoDi it Dtiii/ coiicirn: 

r.o it known tliiiL 1, l-lDWAiM) A. IIiLi., of 
(Miica^o, in tli'- connly i>l' (""oU iin.l Shilo i>l 
lilinoi.s, have ii.vt'nicd ci'ilain hniMovcMK'nt.s 
in INIciin.s Ibr Inc.lo.sin^' anil Kiini-'M^; Wires to 
Foiin the (Jiicnits of lOii'clric;"! Aiuitinciators 
ami lMro-.\larni.s, ol' wliicli 'Jio I'ollowin-,' i.s a 

TIkmc. iia.s liillu'ilo \n-vu f^'irat dillicMiUy ox- 
lioiicnccd in litlin;: a IniiitlinK (liotd ordwcll- 
in{,'') will) llio wires to con.slitntt) llic 
mtincron.s circ.nil.s iriiniivd liy an- 
nnnciator.s and lire, or liiir;,dai' alarms. It. i.s 
(U-siraliln I hat tin- wires shall bi- conceaU-d 
IVoni view, j:iiarded iVom aeeidenlal injury, 
and iirolected from nmislnre; that they .shall 
h(^ alway.s readily aefc'ssilili\ lor iMir|)itses ol 
clccliie.a'l tests and lo repair IneaUs; and 
lii;ii ihry shall Iw so (iis|.iis.(l Ihal n«-w or acl- 
dilionalWires may he sii|i|'lied to forni addi- 
li(Mial e.irenils. 

To int)vidc a means lor readily ac(;oni|ilish- 
iii}; tlu'.se .several results is the objeel of this 

I jtro|i<).so to iHi)\ iile. a series of tubes or 
pipes broken at eaeh Inrnin;;-, ami at inter' 
vals ahnij; their le.n;,'lhs, by open spae.o.s, to 
alVord ai;(;oss to the. biiiidU! of several wires are. run throu;;h .said tubes. These 
tubes or pipe.s are hii<l t lirou;,'hont the build- 
in;:, ineferably suppinted by the lathiu;;-, be- 
fore tiie plasterin;; is ajiplied, and under Ihe 
Ihtorin-,' before it i.s put down. 

The object beiu;; to eoneeal or cover the 
pipes, tlu'y may be put throu;,di the walls or 
between the walls, or bclween the thxns and 
ceilin;,'s, in manner desired, it bein;; only nec- 
essary lliat Ihe breaks in said pipes should 
be accessible Ihion-h pockets or traps or 
otlier aperuires in the Horn-, ceiliu}:, or walls 
opposite said breaks, all of which will he here- 
iiKiller nnn-e fidly explained. 

'J'iio aceomiianyiuf; drawiut,', which foinis a 
])art of this speeili<Mlion, reinesenls said se- 
ries of pipes, or a portion thereof, as ap- 

In llie said draw in;:, .\ represents a por- 
lion of a lathed uall before llui plaslerin;; is 
applied. )'. is a section of the llooiiu;,^ O 
(;' C G' are several of a series of snnvll tubes 
(u- pipes vseeureil lo the hitliint:, or el.sewhere, 
wherever it may bo desired to run (h(>. wires 
of the anniiciator oi other cireuit.s. The sev- 
eral tubes arc separated from eaeii other by 

an interval. Tiio interval at I) is for tlio 
purpose of takinj^ out one of the wires a.nd 
breaking il lo form terminals for key, which 
may be jilaeed by the .side of the break. 

The breaks at H K are to aeeoinmodate fho 
bcml or chant^v of direction from a horizontal 
to a perpendicular or vertical direction. 

The break D may bo covered or concealed 
by the plate of the key, and the breaks K arc 
below the lloorinj,' H and concealed therely. 
The lloorin;; at this point is cut and a remoy- 
ahlo trap, II, inserted, to form wiiat is techni- 
cally termed a "pocket" to render the break 
accessible. These pil)es, in .series, arc extend- 
ed tliroii;,'liouttlieeutirebnndin},', with breaks 
at (nery turning' an<l at every place where iv 
key is io be ins<'rled, and als.iwilh breaks 
wlieii proce(idiuK' vertically at i-very lloor, and 
in every place where they can be proiterly 
eoni'caleil, and y(!t be nnnle accessible. The 
wires lo form ihe numerous ciicuitsare pn.-.i.ed 
Ihrontrh these pipes and led lo tiieir destina- 

Where a series of rooms o- cur one abovo 
aiiollier the wir(!S for the whole series are run 
npasiii-le pipe series extending; to the njiiier- 

The sin;;le return-wire of Ihe ciieuit, com- 
mon to till'. w!n)lo of the other wires, is in- 
clo.sed with the smaller wires of the .separate 
eireuit-s, .so that the circuits may be tested at 
any of the breaks. 

Wires for new circuits may be added by 
simplv pushing; them thron-h the tubes, com- 
inenein;: at one of the breaks and continuing 
lhion;:li all Ihe tubes. 

The. wires are indii'.aled in Ihe drawiii;; liy 
Ihe letter K, ami are .s.'veial in number, to 
supply the number of circuits re<p\ired. 

Having' Ihns deseribe<l my in venlion, tliat 
w liich 1 claim as new, and desire to secure by 
Leilers raleni, i.s — 

The eoinbinalion, with the wires ol a series 
of ciicnils, of a series of iiiclosinjr tubes or 
pipes an aii-ed within the walls or lloors, cither 
or l)oth, of a buildiu-, and separated from each 
other bv breaks accessible Horn |Ih> exterior 
of the walls or lloors, substantially as and lor 
the pnii>oses set lorlli. 



,1. \V. MUNDAY, 



E. A. HILL. 
No. 176.784. patented J^.y 2. 1876, 


\:^ QAX^ 





IVesiern Electric Manufacturing Co. 

The following are among the hotels which have been fitted up 
with our Annunciators. 

1'almer Housh Chicago, III. 

( Pacikic " 

Shf.kma\- House « 

■ Tremont HoisE " 

•Gardner " 

Adams House " 

Matteso.m House " 

Massasoit HorsE " 

(JRA.ND Ck.ntral " 

•St. Carolines Court " 

Ansa Holsi; " 

Revere Housf " 

Oakland House " 

Co.M.MERciAL Hotel " 

•Uigelow House " 

•Gault House. " 

Michigan Avenue House " 

I'eoria Hoi se I'eoria, 111. 

McGiLL lloi.sE Clinton, 111. 

Robertso.n House Joliet, 111. 

Harper House Rock Islaml. 111. 

Centennial House Danville, HI. 

Highland Park House Highland Park, 111. 

•Lake Forest House Lake Forest, III. 

Lincoln House Lincoln, 111. 

Hyde Park House Hyde Park, III. 

BuRTis House Davenport, Iowa. 

Grant House " 

Starr's Hotki Burlington, Iowa. 

Gorham's Hotkl " 

Or. DEN HousK Council Bluffs, Iowa, 

•HuiiBARU 1 Im -.1 Sioux City, Iowa. 

tJRANi) Ckntk AL lIoTEl Omaha, Keb. 

*C.\NNON Houm: Lincoln, Neb. 


Commercial llrtTEi " " 

TowNSKND 1 loisi. Ocononiowoc, Wis. 

Cook's Hotki Green Bay, Wis. 

Revere IIoise Oshkosh, Wis. 

Park Hotel Madison, Wis. 

Plankinton House Milwaukee, Wis. 

St. Charles Hotei " 

Capital House Little Rock, Ark. 

Grand Ck.ntkm Hot Springs, " 

RlNKLKV House Sherman Texas. 

JoPLiN House. Joplin, Mo. 

•Cutler House Grand Haven, Mich. 

Reprinted from. Western Electric Manufacturing Co., Price List of West- 
em Electric Manufacturing Co. , Including Electric Bells and Annuncia- 
tors Suited for Calls in Hotels Residences (Chicago, 1877), 16-17. 


Western Electric Manufacturing Co. 17 

•Vaughn House Ealon Rapids, Midi. 

Southern Hotel St. Louis, Mo. 

Grand Central Hotel South Ueiul, Iml. 

St. Nicholas Hotel '. L.if.iyetto, liid. 

St. James Hotel Kichmond, Ind. 

Grand Hotel Indianapolis, Ind. 

St. Charles Hotel " 

Remy Hotel 

Alvord House 

KiRBY House Muncie, Ind. 

•BooDY House Toledo, Ohio. 

St. Charles Hotel Columbus, Ohio. 

RousH House Zanesville, Ohio. 

Newark House Newark, Ohio. 

Martinsiiurg House Martinsburg, Md. 

Oakland House Oakland, West Vii. 

Mononcahela House Pittsburgh, r.i. 

St. Charles House 

Updecraff House Williamsport, Pa. 

Girard House Philadelphia, " 

AuBRY House 

Great Western Hotel 

West End Hotel 

St. George Hotel 

La Pierre House 

Ward House Towanda, 

Vance House 

Windsor Hotel Montreal, Canada. 

Arcade Hotel Cincinnati, Ohio. 

•Salt Lake House Salt Lake City, Utah. 

•Townsend House " " " 

Walker House - - .. 

WiLER House Mansfield, Ohio. 

Kerr House Marion, O. 

Chicago Club House Chicago, 111. 

Club House Cincinnati, O. 

The following are a few of the Residences which we have supplied 
with Calls and Burglar Alarms: 

Geo. M. Pullman Chicago, 111. 

Daniel Tho.mtson " " 

E. W. Blatchford " •' 

George L. Dunlap " " 

Perry H. Smith " 

Alexander Mitchell Milwaukee, Wis. 

AND many others. 

•Those marked with a • have our Annunciator of former pattern, which is lacking in some of tlie 
merits of the Needle Annunciator as now made. 


Appendix M 

U.S. Patent No. 123,808 

Charles E. Chinnock, of New York 
Assignor to Edwin Holmes of Brooklyn, New York 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Annunciators 

February 20, 1872 



United States Patent Office. 



■^,M.,iii,-„ii.,M ru 

rl «l I'.il. Ml N... l'.i;i.-n-', ,l„lr,l T, I.immiv -.'ll. l.-<; 

/'(I ((// irliiiiii il iiitiji i-ii)icriii: 

r.i' i( Uiiciwii (lull I,('iiAi;i.i;s !•;. ('iii.nmmk, ; 
of NfW i (111; city, in I lie (•tmiily ;iiiil Sljilc of ' 
New ^■o^U,■ll:l\•^' ili\('llt('(l :i new ;iii(l I lii|il(i\ cd '. 
l",lcclniM;i;;iictic Aimiinci;il<ir ; :iliil I (Id lu'li-- | 
liV(li'cl;irclli;il llicr(ill(i\viii;;is:i lull, cIcmiviikI j 
('X;icl (li'.scri|ili(iii llicrcdl', wiiicli will ciialilc I 
iitlici's sUillcd ill (lie ml lo iiimIo- :iii(I use (lie i 
s;lllic, icrcrclicc licili;;' li:i(l to llic ;u'c(iliipiuiy- j 
ili;;(lr;i\\ ill;;- Idiiiiln^ |i;ilt (iC tliis s|iccilic:iliiiii, ' 
ill wliicli — I 

l''i;;iii(' 1 rcpicsciils ;i vcrdciil Iraiisx crsc sec- I 
(idii (iT my iiii|ii'(ivctl iiliiiilliciiildr. l''i;;'. 'J is ;i . 
Ii-diil \ lew dl' (lie siiiiic. l'"i;:\ .'! is :i vciliciil j 
scclidli dl' llic s:iiiic (;ik('n oil (lie phi lie of I lie i 
line (■ c, I'ii;. I, ;iii(l seen in t lie (liicclidli of I lie ' 
:ii row 1 . \■"\^^. I is ;i simihir seel ion dl' I he siiiiii' I 
liikcii oil llic plane dl' llic line LI.-, Fiix. I,!in<l ! 
seen in the dii-ectidii dllli" arrow "_'. I 

Similar Iclters of i-el'erence indicate cdire- ! 
spdiidiiiu- parts. | 

'J'his invcntidii has lor its olijccl to pi-dvidc , 
an autdinali(- indicator lor electro- ma;;iiclic , 
ahirm oi' call apparatus, and means lor eslal>- ! 
lishin;:: ciirreiils tlii-diit;li aiidihU' or other sij,'- 
mils whenever the indicator is set in iiidtidii. 
]t is intendctl fur usi- on alaiiii apparatus to j 
lirst indicate the locality at which the operat- 
ing; current was estaldishcd and snliseipicntly 
start the alarm, and is e(pially well applicaliU; 
to liotcl-anmincialors and similar apparatus 
for slidwin;; the mimljer of loinn and callin;,' 
the atlendant. 

A in the drawiii;; represents lli(\ face jplatc 
or dial dl' the iiidieatin;; apparatus. ]| has a 
seiies of keys, « ", arran;,'c(l radially orother- 
wise around a coiiimon center, every such key 
ser\in^' lo ostalilish metallic eonneelion lie- 
t wecli a w ire, //, Iroin the halt cry, and a sprin;;, 
(/, allixed to the ol' Iheplale A. I! is 
a shaft, hnii.v' in the. rrame of the machine and 
ill the plate A, form in;; the center of the .series 
of keys((. The shaft H carries on the face of 
the plale A a inojcclin;; |ioinler, c, and on llie, 
re\ ( rscdf said \i\Mf a project in;; liKtIal lie spur, 
/. (J is a metal plate, secured to the hack of 
A around the shaft ]{, hnt insnhiled Ij-oni tlu^ 
latter. TIk! several spriii;;s(/ <i' <l' </', iS:c., eon- 
iieelin;; with lli(( several wiics // //' //' li\ \c., 
roKpeclivcly, all liear with their hmse ends 
iiKi'ii'Ht this [ilate ij, fiom which a \\ ire, h, leads 

111 an cli'cliii iiia^'iiil, C The nnnatiifc lever 
I) (if this ma;,'iiel has a projecliii;; arm, /, en- 
Icrin;;, w hen raised, a spnr-\\ heel, /, of a elock- 
wdik, IC, and prevent in;;, coiiscipiently, any 
md\cineiil ol said clock-Wdik. The shaft His, 
liy ;;earin;; /, cdiinedcd with the clock work. 
Id he rotale(l Ihcreliy whenever the ami / is 
withdrawn from the wheel,/. The spur./' will, 
when the !i:'ll I! revolves, slide Iteiiealh llie 
spriii;;s //(/'. \e., and lircak contact hclwecn 
them and the plalc //. j/i is a metal sprin;;, 
rcstiii;; upon a culhir, k, of the shaft !*., and 
connected with a wire, (). The armature I) 
has a hook, />, Im iiie(l at ils end. A liookc(l 
drop, 1'", catches over this hook ji. When the 
arinalnre is lowered the drop V is released, 
and is hy a spiin;;, /•, diawn a;;ainst a metal- 
lic rest, (i. A rod; m, and lever I, cdiineetcd 
with the drop h" and with a key or handle, /', 
can lie used to rehick the dnip I'" to the liook 
/) of the arinalnre. II isa liattery, from which 
a wire, c, leads to a scrcw-(aip, ir, whence aii- 
dllier wire, .r, exleiids lo the ma;;net ('. .'/ is 
a switch on the w iic.;-, for hreakiii;; the circuit. 
\\'ircs - .:' .:' ;', v\:c., lead from the (itlier \nt]c 
of the hatlcry to the several nxnus or partsof 
a, and cdiincet thence with the several 
wires // 6' /(■' //', iS.c., icspeelively. 'J'lie wire ; 
is show 11 Id lead to a window, I, friiiii which 
lli(! w ire /' ;;()es to a sprin;;, (/. When the win- 
dow is raised a circuit is cslahlislied tliroii;;li 
the wires r /(, s|iriii;; il, jilate//, wire //, electro- 
ma;;iiets, wires .r and r, so that the electro 
iiia;;iiets will he char;;ed. This will cause the 
armature (/ w it II its arm / lo lie draw ii (low n 
and the train (if wheels rclea.scd, so Ihiil. the 
shaft II will he revolved until llu; spur./' lifts 
till! sprin;; (/ from the iilatc '/, and thcrclr- 
hreaks the ciiciiit. The anna I lire is then drawn 
otr the ma;;iiet hy ils sprin;;, and the arm i will 
stop the train of wheels, caiisin;; the pointerc 
Id sidp dppdsiie the sprin;; (/, tlirdii;;li which 
the circi 'I slarleil. The pdinlcrwill thus on 
the. keys (( or cipiivalcnl marks indicate the 
iiainedr mimherdf the w iiidovv or thin;; niovcd ; 
or. If on nil aiiniiiicialiir, tln^ niimher of the 
rodlii in which the eircnit was elosed. 'i'lie 
spur _/', ill hrcakiii;; the cir(aiil Ihrdii^h the 
nia;;!iel (', transfers it fidin the sprinr '/, with 
which it rcnniins in cdiitiiel, to the sprin;; in, 
mid tlicnce liy Ihe wire n lo the mii^nel ol' an 



ahiriii boll, J, to wliicli n binncli of tlie wire v 
oxtiMids, lis kIiowii ill rifc'. -i. Tims a buifrhir- 
niniiii ciiii be net in operation by tiic net ion of 
Mie ]iiiinaiy cnrreiit tliiony;U the N|ningH d. 
^VIlen tbc apiiaratiis is used for an nnnnnei- 
ator tbc siniiifj; »i is (lispensed with but tlie 
drop F and restG applied. Tliceiincnt, Mbeii 
closed ill any looni, eliiir^e.s tlie eleetroina;:- 
net as above described, lowers tlie nriii t, and 
causes rotation of tlie sliaft U until tlie spur 
/breaks (be eireiiit. In bein;; attracted totbe 
'ina^Miet tlie ariiiatnre releases the drop, w liicli 
falls a^'Miiist tlie rest CJ, and tlicivlty eslab- 
lislu's a new <'irc,uiL tliroii^li tlie bell h. 'J'liis 
eireuit is as follows: A, k", Iroin tlie 
wire r or the same )>oIe of the battery leads 
to the iiia;;uet of the bell I; and another wire, 
h' ; tlieiice to thi- rest Ct. This rest beiii^' in 
contact with the drop !•" is (hereby in nictallic 
connection with a wire, e", which leads to the 
sc.rew-ciip ic, whence the wire r extends to the 
liattery, as shown. A continuous riii^in;; is 
thus kept up to call the attendant, who, by 
the index <; can read the niiinber of the room 
whence the call em. mated. The ciri'uit is 
broken when the attendant, by pressinp: on 
the key n, moves the lever t and rod .f so as to 
carry the drop F back ovi-r the lioidc /) of the 
armature, separatin;; thus the drop from the 

Having' thus described my inveiitioti, what I 
claim as n(;w, and desire to se<;iii'e by Letters 
Patent, is— 

L The spury, allixed to the n.tary shaft Ji 
for raisint; the. sprinjrs <l //', &(;., olV the plati; 
//, and thereby interrnptiii'; the currents which 
};ive it motion, as set Ibrth. 

•J. 'J'lie pointer /•, applieil to the .shaft 15, in 
combination with the spur/and spriu;;s <l il', 
&<•.., sulistantially as herein speeilied. 

3. The collar ii on the shaft 15, combined 

with the .split/) fipl J((f» iiij niid (iltito 17, to es- 
tablish 11 Reeoiidili.v eidient, fitlb.stiKitinlly ns' 
herein shown iilid (k'fieribed. 

4. The plate //, Hoeiired in the frnino A mid 
in metiillie eontiict with the Rprinfjs J '' -«rliicli 
connect with tiio buttery, but insulnted from 
the shaft ]', Hinii/ breaks such connec- 
tions, as set forth. 

0. The sprin;,'s d il', i^c, se(aired to the jdate 
or frame in metallic, contiic.t with the fixed 
plate //, from which they can b'- rai.sed by a 
spur,/, on a rotary shaft, T., as ei forth. 

ti. The combination, on an alarm apparatus, 
of the sprin<;s (/ (/', phitc //, slnift II, and spur 
/', w ith the collar n and spiiii;; tii, substantial- 
ly as herein slmwii and described. 

7. The armature I >, provided with a projeel- 
in^' uiii, /', which eni;a;,'es in a wheel of a clock- 
work, to arrest the siinu' as loii^' as the anna- 
tuii' is not attracted liy its magnet, as speci- 

,s. The clock-work 10, imparting' motion to 
the shaft 1!, but arri'sted by an arm, /, <d' the 
armature, which, when drawn down by the 
cliaif,'iii;: of its electro- ma;,'net, releases the 
eloekwiuk, allowing it to revolve the shaft, as 

'.(. The shaft H, .so connecled with the clock- 
work F antl with a iirojecting spur,/, that 
when moved it will serve, by llieaction of the 
spur on the springs f/(/', v^c, to arrest the train 
which gave it motion. 

10. 'I'lie lever and rod*, in combination with 
the drop F, to reset it upon the armature-le- 
ver, and thereby break tlie circuit, and at the 
same time release the train of cloek-wm-k, as 
set forth. 



(Jko. W. Maui;!',, 
T. r>. MosiiKii. 


C. E; CHINNOCK. 2 §h««ii"8li««l 1- 

Improvement in Elcfctro-Magnetic Annunciators, 
No. 123,808. j%^^"3" <, nO^Pfltsfltad F«b. 20, 1872, 



C. E. CHINNOCK. 2 Shflet8"-8heet 2< 

No. 123,808. nUttiid feb, 20, Ifi72, 







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C'--0 UJ 


Appendix O 

Reissue 6,599 


U.S. Patent No. 20,970 

William G. Russell and Abraham Firth, 

of Boston, Massachusetts, 

Executors of William Whiting, Deceased, 

Assignors to Edwin T. Holmes 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic House-Alarms 

August 17, 1875 


United States Patent Office. 



Specification forming part of Loiters Patent No. 20,ir70, (iatf J July v!0, 1858 ; extended iicvon years; reissue 
No. 6,399, dated Augnst 17, 187.') ; application filcil July W. 187.'). 

To all whom it may concern: 

Bo it known that William Whitino, coun- 
sellor at law, lato of R«.\buiy, in the county ot 
Norfolk aud State of Massaclinsetts, did, iu hiss 
lifetime, make an invention of a new and use- 
ful Improveracnt in Electro-Magnetic 
Alarms, of wliicli the following is a full, clear, 
ftud exact description, reference being liiwl to 
the accompanying drawings making a part of 
this specifleatiou, in which — 

Figure 1 is a view of a portion of a dwelling- 
house with the said improved apparatus at- 
tached. Figs. 2 and 2" represent a vertical 
section tlirotigh the room, showing the indicat- 
ing aud alarm appHratus iJi elovafiou; Figs. 
3, 4, 6, 6, aud 7, deUiils to be referred to hero- 

Previous to the invention of said WiiiTiNri 
an apparatus had been eiuployed as a burglar- 
alarm in which u single electric circuit waa eiu- 
ployed in connectiou with the windows and 
doonj of a building, and so arranged that the 
opening of any one of them shoidd the 
circuit and sound an alarm. Such a|)paratns, 
■ however, furnished no indication of the where 
abouts of the wiudow or door so opeucd, and 
the proprietor was lell to search through the 
whole house for the iutruder, who was himself 
perhaps alarmed and enabled to csca|>e. Such 
aiiparutus, moreover, all'ordcd no means for 
the disconnection of any particular portion of 
the houso from tlie alaini iiistrunent indo 
IHjiidently of the otlicr poitious, so that it was 
imprtvcticable to disconnect a particular room 
Ov door froiii the alarm in.strument without dis- 
connecting tho entire iiouse. 

The objects atuiined by llie invention of said 
WniTlNG were tho i)roductioiiof a house-alarm 
which not only alarms tlu; pr<)i)Vietor or guard- 
ian of the houso on tlie intrnsion of a burglar, 
but at the same time indicates to him the part 
of tho house attiicked, so that his attention 
may bo immo<liutoly directed to tho particular 
room where an entry has be<Mi fttt«iiipt<!d or 
cfreclcd, and also the capiK'ity of disconntyU- 
ing one portion of the from tho alarm 
instriunent without <liHC<>une('ting the oth(^r 
I)ortions of tho lioiiso therefrom. 

Tho first of these objects was accoj.'jijli.shnd 

by the said WniTiNG by tho emplo\ i.ioiit of 
a series of electro-magnetic circuil.s (one for 
e.icli distinct room or portion of tho house to 
bo guarded) in connection with an indicator 
for indicating the portion of the house at- 
tiickc<l, and with an alarm apparatus, (for 
somuling tho alarm,) which is coraraoH to the 
several circuits of the series, the doors aud 
windows of the houso being so connected with 
the circiiiUs that the opening of any one of 
them shall closo or break the circuit with 
whicli it is connected, cause tho alarm to be 
sounded to all tho circuits of tho series, and 
indicate ni»on the indicator tho particular 
room us-sailed. 

The second of said objects was accomplished 
by said WiiiTiNQ by tho employment of a 
switch in each of tho magnetic circuits of the 
series which it was expedient to disconnect 
from the alarm instrument that was common 
to the whole series of circuits, so that the 
openings of the house controlled by said 
switch could b(» disconnecte<l from the com- 
mon alarm instrument without disconnectiug 
the other circuits of the series from that in- 

In order that others skilled in tho art might 
understand and use the said invention, the 
said WuiTiNG represented the manner in 
wiiicli he carried the same into effect, as in 
tlio accompanying drawings, and described 
till' same in the following wonls: 

In the drawing. U is tho indicator, which is 
placed in ;iny convenioutpositiou in tho house 
to be |irotecto<l, (as in tho slooping-room of 
tlie proprietor.) It is hero shown attached to 
the wail of the room. It consists of a board, 
to which are secured tho electro inagneta 1, 2, 
;<, 4, .''), .iiid <), there being one magnet for each 
indicating-circiiit. The operation of all being 
similar but one will be described. I may here 
remark that each circuit of wires may i)rot«ct 
a single window or door, or a single room or 
entry. The latter plan is tho one hero repro- 

Near the indicator, in any convenient place, 
is sccnred n shelf, 0, which sti]iporLs tlie alarm 
apparatus. This consists of an oi(H:lro-raag- 
net, I", tiie armature of which, as tho magnet 


IS M':iilc hy llic. tln.sjiif; <i( tlic circuit or its li:i( 
trv.\ , ii|ii'i;il(vi till! liMiiiiiiLMiif a bell, unci Ciuisfs 
it 111 rin;; so Ion;; ;is its ciicuit rciiiiiiiis closed 
:iiiil its liiillcry coiitimios in opcnitioii. Tlii.M 
riri^iiit,' is ;ici!oni|ilislic(l li.y iv well known <lo 
vice of iiiscitiii(,' 11 snnill picco of i\ iioii con- 
(hiding: snbsUuR-c in a vibrrtd.ig arm con- 
Mcctcil will) the arm at 11 re, oiio of the wires of 
till) battery bcinp; in contact with the arm, 
ami the arm beinp; coiiiipcted with one end of 
the coil; bnt as the method of rinpiiif,' the 
bell forms no part of my |nt'sent invention it 
need not be more fully described. 

A battery, D, which ojicratcs the alarm a|i- 
pai-atus, and a battery, IC, which operates the 
iiuliciUor anil the indicjUinp; circuits, are 
jilaccd in any convenient and aeciirc situation. 
From 011(1 pole of the battery 1) tho wire n 
loads to the bi'.li-ma^nel I'"; and from this mat;- 
net another wire, n', leads i-n a piece of metal, 
i, secured to the board of the indicator 15. 'I'o 
tliis piece b is pivoted at c tin; armature f of 
the niaf,'nct 1 of the indicatiu. From the op- 
posite pole of the battery 1) tho wire d leads 
to a huok or staple at e, on the indicator- 
board, a^' which the armature/ si)riiips 
liaelc when the coil of the magnet 1 ceases to 
be charged. This armature is furnished with 
a small spring, i, which bears against, a pin in 
the board, for the |mrpose of throwing tlie ar- 
mature back. The wirc-s a, «', and d, and bat- 
tery D, constitute the licil-eirciiit, which is 
closed when the ai mature/ is in the position 
seen ill Fig. 2, and the bell is rung, as before 

From one jiole of the battery E the wire /t i.s 
led to the magnet 1, and from the oi)posit<; end 
of the coil of this 111 agnot other wires and springs 
coiii|)lete the circuit, as will be hereafter c.\- 
plaincd, the wire '/ entering the opposite pole 
of tliis battery. These wires, with the springs 
and boxes to be described, and the battery IC, 
c^mstitutc tlie indieator-circiiit. AN'heii this 
circuit is clo.sed the magnet 1 is made, and its 
armature/ is drawn up to it. This breaks the 
bell circuit, as explained; but when tho cur- 
rent through the coil of the magnet I is broken 
the armature/ is thrown liack by its spring i 
into contact with the staple f, and the bell- 
circuit is completed. A small shield, k, on 
the end of the armature, covers a letter, A, 
attached to the tipper side of the Ixiard when- 
ever it is drawn up to its magnet, and dis- 
closes the letter whenever the armature is 
thrown bat;k by it« spring. Tims the bell is 
rung, and a letter imUcating the room is ex- 
posed to view each time the iiidi('ator-circuil 
is broken, 'i'iie manner in which this is broken 
or closed by the opening or shutting of a door 
or window, \\U\ now be expliiiiied. 

In the door IVame G, l''igs. 1 and 3, on the 
Hide to which the hinges aic att.;(che<l, is se- 
cured to a metal box, i/i, the back part of which 
may b(! open, a piece of nonconducting mate- 
rial, /, wjiich vertically troiii llie Ir.iiiH- (!. 
To this piece / is atUiched an Insnlat^'d pi(((' 
of luotal, n. A slot, «, is cut thioiigli the 

fiont plate of th(^ box tii of a sufllcionl Kir.e to 
ulldw a roller, ;), to project u short dlHtiinc.o 
beyond the Hue of the door-fi iiiiio. Thin roller 
;) has its axh' hung in a pipi^ to which in at- 
tached a ben t. spring, r. Tho jiiece n U plxoted 
lit t> to tho sides of the box in, mid Im ko ar- 
ranged with respect to the piece n that when 
the roller p projects through tbo idot o the 
spring r will not be in contact witli tho piece 
n, but rest against the up[K)r part of the piCNCo 
/, and when tho roller is pressed in by the 
closing of the door tho end of the 8)iriug v 
shall slide down into and in contact with the 
jiiecc 11, as seen in Fig. 4. lu Fig. 4 19 shown 
the manner in which rnising a window allows 
the roller;) io spring out through tho slot. (I 
may here state that a similar arrangcinpiit to 
tliiit just desciibeil for the door is jilaccd in 
the side of the frame of each window.) A 
groove, .1, is cut in tlie side of tho window- 
sash next to the box ;(i, of a suQicient width 
and depth to allow the roller p to B|)ring out 
thioiigli the slot o, as in Fig. 3 ; but as this 
groove does not extend (piito up to tho top of 
the sash, the upper [larl at (, which is not 
grooved, will press the roller back into the 
box (vhcnever the sash is shutdown, and when 
it is raised the roller will spring out into tho 
groove n anil allow the spring r to coine away 
from tlio iiiece n. A similar arrangement is 
attached to the upper sash, so that nhen it is 
imllcd dowu its roller p will spring out. EaoU 
of the above-described spring arranscraeuts is 
inolndcd in some one of the iudicator-circiiits 
in such a manner that whenever tlie springs r 
are iii contact with the pieces 71 the circuit 
will be closed, and when away from them will 
be broken. 

The following is the arrangement here 
adopted: 'J'he \\'\ro g from the battery E is at- 
tached to the box m at j; another wire, y, is 
atUiched to the insulated piece >i, and is led 
thence to the next box in in the circuit, (in the 
drawings, to the box in Iwg. -1 ;) and from the 
insulated inecc ;i of this window to the next 
box (if lliero are more of them) is led another 
wire, :. and so on tor each door or window of 
that room or circuit. From the last one tho 
wire :, Figs. -1 and L', is led to the magnet 1 of 
the indicator. 'I'hus the circuit which makes 
thisinagiict is from the battery )C through the 
lx)X m, pivot p, Rjiriug r, to insulated piece 11, 
when the sjiriug is down on it; thence through 
the wire 1/ to the next box, and so thiotigh all 
the boxes in the circuit; and from the piece 11 
of the last one through wiro ; to the magnet 
1; thence through wire A to the opposite pole 
of the. battery II. The wires u.sed arc coated 
or insulated in the. ordinary maniiei-. When 
UiuH arranged, if nil the doors and windows 
embraced in this circuit are shut, the circuit 
will Im.- closed, the magnet 1 will be made, and 
its .■iiniaturi^ /' will bo drawn up to it, w hen the 
shield /> will cover the iiidicatinglelter A,aii(I 
the bell ciiciiU uill bo broken, as bcloic ex 
]il:iined ; but on the opening of a (h.or or wiii- 
(linv the. Hiuiiig I will move out ol' cont-act of 

( ??(^) 


the piece n, nnd tlio indiciitor-circuit will lio 
broken, when the coil 1 will ccaso to he ii niiiR- 
net, its aruiftture will be thrown back b.v the 
spriupi, its indicfltinplettor will bo disclosed, 
and the bell-ciicuit trill bo ootnplcti'd lliroiigh 
the ftrnmtnro itself, causing the inftcnot F to 
ring the bell and give the alarm, which will 
be8onn<le<! eo long as the indicator-circuit re- 
mains broken and the battery IJ lasts. 

The systoui which I have described, in which 
a series of closed circuits is eni|)Ioyed in con- 
nection with an o|icn bell-circ.nit, is the one 
which I iirefer.; but this onler may bo re- 
versed, and a tciies of ()])en indicatiiig-ciicuits 
luay bo used in connection with an indicatoi- 
and an alarm apparatns; but this arrange- 
ment is by no means !fo safe as that above do- 

As before stated, eiich room or entry will 
|ja\e its own indicator circnit and magnet, 
and its indiaiting letter, labol, or nninbcr; 
but the same battery, IC, (if of swflicienL 
.strength,) may he embracc<l in all tliecircnit.s, 
or as many of tbem as it is found convenient, 
and the armature of all the indicator-uiagnet,s 
may be embraced in one bell-circuit by con- 
necting them with the wires a' and d. The 
wire a of the boll-circuit is furnished with a 
switch, e', and the wire h of the indicating- 
circuit with a similar switch, f. These are 
for the r.onvenience of the iiroprietor when 
bo wishes to oi>cii or either circnit; as, 
for iustJincc, when be rises iti the morning, 
and wishes to render the alarm inoi)crative, 
he turns the switch e", when the bcll-cireuit 
will reniaiu open, and the bell will not bo rung 
when the doors and windows are opened. 
Befcro ewitchiug on the boll-circuit at night 
be examines to see if all the indicating-cir- 
cuits ore closed. This ho will see at a glance, 
for If any door or window has been left open 
the armature of the magnet belonging to that 
circoit will not be drawn up,aud consequently 
the indicatiog-Ietter of that circuit will be ex- 
jwsed; and if the battery E has failed none 
of the magnets ou the board will bo made, 
and all the letters will l>e exposed, and if this 
battery should give out iu the night the boll 
would be ruiijt and give notice of it. When 
Le fludfttho iftdicatiug-circQita ere all in oi>era- 
tion he cloecs the switch e'laiid then, to inform 
himself If the battery D Is operative, ho 
tnrus the switch f, which breaks the circnit 
through the wire k, and thin causes the bell 
to ring if lt8 circuit is not interrupte<l. He 
may then close the switch and retire, knowing 
that the whole apparatus is "in working order. 
Aa it is deflirable to have it in the |)owcr of 
the inmates to oi)en a door or window without 
sounding the alarm, each room,or, if preferred, 
each door and window, may bo furnished with 
a switch similar to /*, placed in such a posi- 
tiou that by turning it the circuit will con- 
tlnoe made when the roller /j jprings out — for 
example, by attaching it to one side of the 
box m, and turning it in contact with the in- 
Bolated piece n, whoa the door or window 

is closeil again, iniK priviiio snilcli is Ininci. 
ofl', an<l llio pliice is protected as befiire. 

If desiriibli', two or iiioie bells imiy be in- 
clinled in tli<' same alarm-<:ir<'.iiit, (llie liallny 
I) being made strong enough,) and be ]ilaced 
in difl'iMcnt pans of the house, so that the in- 
mates may be simnlliineoii.-<ly infornieil of an 
iitlaRk, and llms rcndorcsicli oilier ]irompt as- 
Ri.st4incc. In this case a switch, as at <■', may 
be jdaccil near each bell, or they may all bo 
under the control of the proprietor, by means 
of switch z'. Ill lien of the arrangeimiit slmwn 
in I''ig. I, vvliciciii the closing ol the window 
piessi's in llie nillcr yi, and thereby closes tho 
(■.ircnil, anntlicr ariiingi lutiit h;is proved in 
practice still more clliciciit. The cavity « is 
made opposite to the roller ;/, and of a leiiKlh 
not inncli exceeding the diameter of the toller. 
When the window is closed, the roller springs 
out into \'. isea\ily. Instead of the uiie; l)e- 
iiig attiiclicd to the pi(!CC Ji, it is atlaclied to 
a similar insulated piece, c\ l'"ig. 5, on the up- 
])cr part of the iiieco /', so that when the \\iii- 
dow is rai.scd the roller ;) is pressed in and 
the spring r slides down out of contact with 
the piece (^, to which the wire is coHiiected, 
and thus the circnit is broken, and continues 
broken until the window is again ])laced in its 
original position. This insures not only the 
sounding of the aliirin, but the conlinn.ince 
of tho ringing of tho bell while the window 
is open, and remlers it still more dillicnll. for 
u burglar to meddlo with the window-spring 
without giving an alarm, •while in the arrange- 
ment represented in h'ig. 4, if the lower sash 
be raised entirely up, the roller ;> willbeagain 
pressed in and the circnit closed, and if, to 
prevent this, the groovo « be cut entirely to 
tliO bottom of the sash, and th(^ latter be raiseil 
entirely up, the roller might be reached by a 
stick or wedge and bo pre.-<sed in, and tliiis 
tho continuous ringing of tho bell be pre- 

In place of the above-described spring ar- 
rangements, I sometimes use tho Ibllowing 
more. 8iini)lo one: Twy iiisulat<'d jiieces of 
meUil, d', Fig. G, similar to n, Fig. 'S, are se- 
cured to tho iniici Hurc of that part of the <vin- 
dow-frame with which tho sasii slides in con- 
tact whcnSt is raistsd or lowered. To each of 
these pieces rf' is connected one of the wires 
y and z. To the inner edge of tho"Sash, oppo- 
site those iiicco.1 when tho sash is closed, is se- 
cured n spring, ip, Fig. 6, in such a manner 
that when the window is cU)sed tb.' two iuins 
1 and 2 of the spring shall bo in contact with 
the inRulatO<l pirccM of metal d' ; but wlniiev er 
the window is raised tho spring ir will slide' 
out of contact with one or both of the pi('(tes 
d',and the circilit will bo broken and the alarm 
bo sounded, as before. 

Ono mode in which burglars simielimes en 
tor dwellings is by lomoviin,' or breaking out 
panes of glass fro ii a u induw. Tii protect tlio 
building in this ciiso I llav<^ lulopleil tin: Iwl- 
lowing arraiigeinciili^; I scnnctimes connect 
tho wire Iciiding to the window with that load- 



in;; (Votii the winiliiw, or Id or IVdiii a si'iics iiT 
« iiiiltiws ill iiiii; ciiciiil, liy iiicaiis (if ii liiic! cmi 
(lii(:liii(,'\viii',/', Fit;. 7, liiniii^c iitliiclicil (o il 
:it c;i('li end ;i siiiiill and li;:lit spi in;,' clip of 
metal, one ol' tlicsc clips liciii;: .slippcil onto 
one (if tlic wires, /i', I'l^. 7, nC liic IndicatinK- 
circuit, and tlic (itiicr one (into the oilier wire, 
/(', tlie coiiiliicliii;;-\viru/' lieinj; carried acros-j 
tlic jiaiies ot' ;;lass to be protected. 1 use a 
separate indicating: circuit Cor this due protect- 
int,'« ire, so as not to intcrrcro with the circuit 
pas.siii}; throu(;li the w iiido\vsprin;;s. When 
thus arran^eil, any attempt at forcing In a 
])aiie of glass, or any attempt to enter, will 
either hreaU the fine wire/' or cause it to pull 
tlie spring-clips oil" from the wires h' , on which 
they have been slipjied, and thus break the 
circuit and give the alarm. 

If prelVrri'd, thi.s wire/' may bo removed 
out of the way except wlieii its nso is re- 
(piired. It may be covered with a lu'otecting 
coating of some color that will render it nearly 
invisible at night. 

A convenient arrangomcnt of the last di; 
scrilied meliiod of jirotection is to attach per- 
manently to one side of the window-frame a 
small spi ing-box, </', l"ig. 7, in which the wire 
f may In; coiled nji by the retraction of a 
.spring, (in a manner similar to that used for 
tape measures,) one end of tlic coil being in 
oontaet with one of the larcuit-wirivs A', and a 
clip being attached to tlio other end of tlu; 
wire /', so that this wire may be drawn out 
of the box <i when rc()iiin'(l across the win- 
dow, and the clip on the end of it may be at- 
tached to the other wire h' of the circuit on 
the op]iosite side, of the window. 

Inste.idof tin! alarm a|iparatnH above dc- 
.sciibed, I sometimes di.speiise with the mag- 
net !•' and battery I), and use. a bell ning by 
mecthanical power, tlie same being so ar- 
langeil that when, by the breaking of either 
one III the indicating-circuit.s. Hie armalure/ 
is throw II back by its spring i, it shall let oil' 
a detent which will allow the jiower t'lnployetl 
to ring the bell to act. 

The ways of constructing alartii-bells which 
are. rung by mechanical power, and where 
tlu; ringing is permitted by the motion-giving 
machinery to a detent, are well known, and 
need not be. here ilescribeil ; but in my inveii 
tion the inolion of tli(^ detent is c.ailsi'd, not 
b\ the action of any jiart of the mechanism 
of the bell il.self, Imt by the movement of I he 
armature caused by the bre;iking of the elec 

trie eiiciiii, in ilio timiiiier 8iib«tniitinlly h« 

When II .series of iiKlicfttlnp circuits in era- 
ployed the closing of pitber ono of thoni drrtws 
up the armiitiirp, mid thereby nllown tlic move- 
moiitof the dotciit, hiid tbe nlHrin npptiratus 
is set ill motion. 

Under certnin clrcumntanccs a nepftrdto 
alarm ap|)!irntti8 may be dlRpensed with, tiie 
nnisi) made by the armatnrea comiiifj in con- 
tact with the mngnets being nufHciont to give 
the alarm. Such method, however, I do not 

Hereinbefore the letters of tbe indicator 
have been represented as exposed to view by 
the motion of the armature of the indicator- 
magnets; but it is obvious that other meth- 
ods of indicating may be employed, as, for 
instance, pointing to a word or letter or uum- 

\S'liat is claimed aa the invention of the 
said WiHTlNC. is— 

1. The iinjiroved house iilarra, fiubstaiitially 
as liiireinbefore described, consisting of the 
combination of the following elements, viz: 
lirst, a series of olet:tro- magnetic circuits; 
seitond, an indicator to dcsigimto the rcsiicct- 
ive circuit.s; third, an alarm apparatus com- 
mon to all the circuits of the scries; fourth, 
the window or door springs — the whole oper- 
ating, as set forth, to jiut in ojtcration the 
alarm apparatus that is common to all the 
circuils of the series, and to indicate the par- 
ticular circuit of the series which is attacked. 

2. The combination, substantially as before 
set forth, ot the following devices, viz: the 
series of magnetic circuits, the alarm appa- 
ratus common to all the circuits of the series, 
anil the switch for di.scoiinocting a particular 
circuit of the series of circuits from the alarm 
appanitus without (li.scoiinecting the remain- 
der of tl'O seiies of circuits from that appa- 

Witnes.s our hands this 12tli day of July 
A. I). l.S7r). 

W. (}. RUSSELL, 
A lilt AH AM FIRTH, 
Executors of thr will of IVw. WhUliuj. 

Witnesses to signature of W. G. RUSSKI.L: 
H. II. Samiokn, 

WlI.I.IAM lllIUdK. 

Witnesses I o signal lire ol .\ UK All A. M FlItTlI: 
J. F. K. Fiitrii, 
(■. (J. Siii-'.i.noN. 


4 Sheets--Sheet 1. 

W. WHITING, dec'd. 

W. G. RUSSELL & A. FIRTH, Ei'ra 

Electro-Magnetic House Alarms. 

No. 6,599. ,^,y, / ReissuodAug.17,1875. 




, . „ . . 4 Sheets — Sheet 2. 

W. WHITING, dec'd. 

W. G. RUSSELL &; A. FTRTH. Eira 

Electro- Mag neti c House Alarms. 
No. 6,599. Reissued Aug. 17, 1875, 



4 Sheets — Sheet 3 
W. WHITINQ. dec'd. 

W. a. RUSSELL & A. FIRTH, Eli'ro. 

Electro-Magnetic House Alarms. 

No 6 599 Reissued Aug. 17, 1 875. 

W. WHITING, dec'd. 

W. O. RTJ8SELL A: A. I'lR'l'il, fix'fi. 

Electro-Magnetic House Alarmi. 

4 Sheeti"Sheet 4 

Uo. 6,599. 


.r\A^ . 


Appendix P 

U.S. Patent No. 120,744 

Edwin Holmes, of Brooklyn, New York, 


Henry C. Roome, of Jersey City, New Jersey 

Improvement in Circuit-Closers for Electrical 
Burglar-Alarms and Signals 

November 7, 1871 




United States Patent Office. 



Specification fonning part of LctU^rs Patent No. 1M,744. <lated 7. IH'l. 

To all whom it mny concern: 

BeitknoNvn tbat wc,Ed\vin HoLires,of Brook ■ 
and HENRYO.KooME,ofJi-'rscyCity,in t lecouii- 
tv of Uudson and State of New Jersey, liave m- 
vented a new and useful luipn.veuient lu Cimiit- 
Closers for Ele.'trieal Bur-lar-Alarins and Sig- 
nals, of xvliich the following is a lull clear, and 
exa.'t description, reference bem- luid to the ac- 
coaipanying drawing forming part ol this speei- 

ficatiou. . . , r "tT „(- 

Our invention relates to circuit-closers lor that 
classofburglar-alariusand signals whicliareoper- 
ated by a diflerence iu the flow of the current of a 
closed circuit; and the invention consists m a 
perm.inent magnet surrounded by one or mo^ 
ma-uet"iccoils, thereby fSrinmg an improved cir- 
cuit-closer. The invention likewise comprises a 
certain combination of an armature with a cir_ 
cuit-closer, wherebv the synchronous opening ol 
one circuit and closing of another i.s cllectcd by 
the action of said armature; and the invention 
fui-thermore includes a combination, with the per- 
manent magtiet, of a foil spring, whereby a more 
complete or perfect contact is obtained between 
said magnet and the point it makes and breaks 
circuit with. . , .. • <■ 

Figure 1 represents au interior front view ol au 
apparatus haN^g our invention applied to it ; 
Fig 2, a vertical section through the hue x x m 
Fig 1- Fig. 3, a vertical section through thebne 
V V in ^S- 2 ; and Fig. 4, a diagram, showing the 
connection of the apparatus with cert-iiu batteries 

and an alarm-bell. 

Similar lettersof reference indicatecon-espond- 

iug parts througbout the several figures. 

D in the accompanying drawing is the perma- 
nent magnet surrounded or inclosed by one or 
more magnetic coils, C. F is an adjusting-screw 
arranged so that when the coils C are uot.charged 
it will always be in metallic connection with the 
magnet D by the impinging or embedding of it, 
as produced by the deflection of the magnet 
against or within a fine foil springs, one end of 
which is soldered to the magnet. Said spring is 
u.sed to insure electrical contact with the .screw 
F and, by making said spring of thin foil, this is 
more etVecluallv and certainly acconiidished than 
when mere contact of the spring and end ot the 
screw is relied upon, as dust or dirt getting upon 
the end of the screw would arrest or interfere with 

the passage of the current, whereas a spring made 
of thin foil allows of the point of the screw em- 
bedding itself therein ; consequently the louling 
of the end of the screw would be of but little or 
no importance. E is a similar .^^crew, but so ar- 
ran"-ed and adjusted that when the usual current 
is iiassing through the coils C the magnet D will 
almost, but not quite, touch it. H represents a 
pair of' electromagnets, provided with an arma- 
ture, 1, which is notched at its one end so as to 
engage with a hook upon the ann of a drop, K, 
pivoted, as at b, and so arranged and constructed 
that when released by the armature I it will fall 
upon and move downward an upriglit arm of a 
circuit-breaker, L, and cause the latter to rest 
upon a pin, c. Said circiiJO^rcakerJLnsjMvo^t 
i'lTtCTmc^diStelv^nti'lengtirTSniiat when its one 
end is in contoctwith the pin c its other endwiU 
be thrown up and made to break contact with' a 
pin or stop, d. The circuit-breaker L has its con- 
tact \vith thepiJi or stop c broken and its contact 
with the pin d e.stabUshed by a .spring, e, when 
relievedfi-om theweight of thedrop K. Thepivot 
of L is connected, by a wire, i, with screw-cups 4 
and 5 and connection continued from thence, by 
the wire i, to one pole at the battery B; and Oie 
pin or stop d is connected, by a wire, k, to the 
wire of the eleetro-magnets H, and connection 
continued from thence, by a wire, vi, to the ad- 
justing-screws E and F. The pin c is connected, 
by a wire, !, to a signal or alann-bell, W, and from 
thence by said wire, /. through a screw-cup, b, to 
the other pole of the battery B. A is a batteij, 
having one of its poles connected, by a wire, o, to 
the place or structiure to be guarded or signal to 
be made, from whence said wire returns to a 
screw-cup, 1, and, passing through the ^^^^'^ 
coils C, emerges at a screw-cup, 2, andfromfbence 
to the other pole of the batter;j;^^.;^J3erma- 
nent magnet D is in conuectioli. by^ wire, n, 
through a screw-cup, 3, with the battery B. 

The operation of the invention as applied to a 
burclar-alarm, which is the purpose here selected 
for illustration, is as follows: When the points or 
places to be guarded are closed and secured a 
current will flow from the battery A through the 
wire or circuit o and magnetic coils G. /'"S will the magnet D to approach basely to, but 
not (luite touch, the adjusting-screw E, at tt^*- same 
time breaking contact between the magnet D and 
screw F. The drop K is set to engage with the 



armature I. This being the couditiou, tlie circuits 
closer is theu in proper position for ])rotccting the 
exposed points or places, and the magnet D, as in 
Fig. 3, touches neither of the adjusting-screws E 
and F. If any attempt be made to enter the point 
or place guarded by means wliich cause the flow 
of the current through the coils C to be increased, 
then the magnet D will instantaneously deflect to 
a contact with the adjusting-screw E. This will 
close the circuit i of the battery B, and the cur- 
rent, passing through magnet H and^attracting 
the armature I, will release the drop K, which, 
in falling upon the upright arm of the cu'cuit- 
breaker L, will break contact between the latter 
and the pin d and establish contact between said 
circuit-breaker and the pin or stop c, thereby com- 
pleting the circuit I through the alarm W and 
the batt-ery B and sounding a continuous alarm. 
If any attempt be made to enter the point or place 
guarded by means which cause the flow of the 
current through the circuit o to be broken or di- 
minished, the magnet D would fall and establish 
contact with the adjusting screw F,and thus close 
the circuit t m of the battery B and sound the 
alarm, as before. 

While we prefer to use two batteries, A and B, 
as described, one batterj' might be made to an- 
swer without changing the character or principle 
of the iuventiou. Neither do we confine our- 
selves to making the magnet D of itself close the 

circuit of the battei7B,a8 it is obvious that said 
mag;aot niight be made to cany or actuate an in- 
dependent circuit-closer with substantially the 
same effect; nor do we restrict ourselves to the 
use of the .adjusting-screws E and F. as a like 
contact with the magnet D can be maae in'viiri- 
ous ways or by other means without changing 
the invention. 

Instead of the alarm-bell, too, any other audi- 
ble or visible signal might be used. 

What we here claim, and desired to secure by 
Letters Patent, is — 

1. The circuit-closer, consisting of the permar 
neut magnet D, surrounded or inclosed by the 
magnetic coil or coUs C C, charged by a primary 
circuit, and operating substantially as described, 
for the purpose set forth. 

2. The combinjTtion of the armature I with the 
circuit-closer L, whereby the synchronous open- 
hig of one circuit and the closing of another by 
the aetion of said armature is efiected, substan- 
tially as specified. 

3. The combination of the foil spring s with the 
magnet D, essentially as described. 

n. C. ROOME. 


R. W. Todd, 
'James Tomney. 



Improvement in Circuit Closers for Electrical Burglar Alarms and Signals. 

No. 120,744, Patented Nov. 7, 1871. 

^ I ( g ^ g^ ^ ^ 


^^^' ^ ^'^}frryjlAf^^--^<^ 

Appendix Q 

U.S. Patent No. 120,875 

Edwin Holmes, of Brooklyn, New York, 


Henry C. Roome, of Jersey City, New Jersey 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Burglar-Proof Curtains 
November 14, 1871 


United States Patent Office. 

I'lDWIN llOI.MIvS, OI'" ltlf()(»KI,VN, Ni;W V(HM<, ANI> IIICNUY (',. ItOOMIO, ()!■". Ilsit 



Mjiix'.llli-.iiliiiii (Mrrnli.K pjiridl I,..I,|, I' N.i, l'JII,K7r., .lul.-.l N„v,.inl.ri 1 1, |h7I. 

'I'll nil irlunn il Jiini/ iiiiicrni: 

III-, il. Ufiuwil l"li;i(. \\f, I'lllWIN IIliL.MI.M, III 

llriKiklyii, in Mir rmiiily ul Kiiij^HiiiKJ Shilc ol 
Nf.w Niii l(,;iii(l 1 1 i;.NU V < 1. K()<i,M i'.,(ir.lcrMi'y Cily, 
ill l.lm r.iMiiilv n( IIiul.siMi :niil SlMliinl' New .lii 
Key, li:ivr iinriilril u new iiliil I iii|ii<ivr<l IClc.c, 
(.III .Miif,'iii'lir llmnliii-l'riMir < '.iiidiiii ; luiil undii 
lii-K-li.v ili'i-hiir IIkiI l.lii-. I'iilliiwiii(,' i.s :i lull, cIimi , 
:ili<l ••.\;ii-.l ili-Mci i|il.iiiii l.lii'liMir, wliirli will riiii 
lilr ollii'iH hIuIIi'iI ill Ihi'iiil. hi iii:il<r iiiiil iiw llii^ 
K;iiiir, icCi'iriiri' lii'iiij; li:i<l In llic iuriiiii|iiiliy iiiK 
ilt'iiuiii;; riMiiiiii^ |i:irl. Ill' IImh K|ii'.(.illriil inn. 

I'"i;^iirn I ir|iirNrii|js ii hitI iiiliiil IViilil. vir.w iif 
• Hir iiii|irin rd iiin^iliclir. (tiiil.iiiii. I'iK- - 
in :i ( \ I'll iciil Krr.l inn ill' I. lid k;iiiii'. I''ij,'. 
.'l \h a viT(ic;il mTliiiii (iT ilH r;iliiic.. 

.Siiiiilailcl(ciH(irirrrirri<-.r. iiKlir.iildC.diirHiiiiiKl- 
iiit,' |i:irln. 

Tlic. iial.iirc. Ill' (iiir iii\ I'liliiiii <:iiiiHiHlH in I. lie. 
airiiii^cliiriil. ol' a linif^lar prixii' c.iirUiin In In-. 
MiiH|iriiilr<l ill I'liiiil. Ill' Hal'im, vailllH, lii'liiiiil win 
iliiwM, (ir ill (illir.r .siiiUililc. plaiTH, iinil ((iiincclid 
W'illi an rlrc.l lir. iilai ni ii|i|iiiral.iiH in a man 
nri'llial. il. will, wlirn niovi'.il or iiiiMccii, laiiHii 
llif alarm it) Im hoiiikIciI. 

Ily (III-. iiMc. (if c.iirlain ii vc.iy <'.lii'.a|i and 
iiiiiNl, I'M'rr.l ivc. (,'uaid i.s iililaiiifd, wliirli cnn, 
liver ni^lil, lii'. HnH|ir.iiilril in I'riinl. id' llii'. lliin^H 
or (i|iiiiiii^M Ui III', iiiDhM-.Uril, wliili; diiiiii),' d:.y 
l.itiii'. il. can li<-, rnllr.d ii|i oiil, (if l.lic. way or nllirr 
wiHf. ilii (111', w'lvii'.c. (if (lidiiiiiiy cnrliiinH. 

Tlir. ciirlain A Ui liii imril I'lir liiiH |iiir|iiiHi'. wi- 
inrlri' (.11 iiiiilie III' l.wii (hill and |ilialili' hIiii'Ih «( 
h, 1)1 ini'lal, iiiHiilalrd rriiin racli nllirr liy a jilia 
Idii nun ('.(iiidiir.l.or, r, and covered mIii'i-Ix (/ 
r III' lion^^inaU'.i iai, Ko llial. wIkmi ^liied 
or laKleiied (<i;,'el,lii'.r (licy will rorni a Miii>,de 
mIk'c.I., HiilmNmlially km dcHcrilicd iii llie. l/illeiH 
I'iili'lil. (or nil e.lcci lie liiiilif^ (^niiiU'd lo iih I )e 
<'.4'.nili<;r lid, IK70. We liiKl^cii one. end ol IImh 
hIiccI. a i*) II lion <;<iiiduc,lin({ roller. It, wliicli liaH 

iiii-lallir. f^'iid^eoii.s /'(/ li;iii;;in;,' in niclallic. IjiacI, 
cIh h and /, re.s|,c(| i\ riy. 'I'licsc liracl, ,■! .s arc 
(•(iniicrled l.y wii e.s / /. wil li a lial (er\ , ( '. Tl,,. 
ni(i|.:illir. (,'n(l^;i'oiiH J t/ :iic ill Iter direc-l ly , m liy 
iiicaii.M ol mIiiiiI. wiii'M or iiielallie. |iiei'en / and ;/(, 
ic.M|iej'.l.i\'ely, eoinicclcil willi llie (.wo nie(allic. 
hIh'cI.s (( //. Tlic lower end ol llic. c.iirlain lia.s 
one or more. mcLillie riii^H, ;/, iiiHidaled I'roni llie. 
nIici'Lh (( /*, linl. melallii ally eoniiee.l.ed willi eaeli 
oilier. 'I'liCHi', iiii;;M are lllled over liooliN « when 
I lie. eiirUiin Ik drawn down. The. wire. Ic leailH 
lidiii l.lie liraeUel. I lo llie. hook o, and i.s I'rom 
I he laHl. liooU e.onliiiiied III I he. Iial tery, a.s Nhown. 

Any al(<'lii|il, Iji Ciller liy eiilliii;; (lii'oii;4li (he 
e.iirlain will, by iiieaiiH e.\|ilained in onr alore. 
nienlione.d I/e.lleiH I', ol' Dee.emlicr liO, l.sTII, 
eaiiHC, an alarm hi lie Hoiiiided liy (.lie. c.s( 
me.iil, of a c.oiii|ile.|.<\ eireiiil, while, on (he oilier 
hand any|il. lo roll n|i (he I'lirlaiii or lill. 
llic. roller It Iroiii Hie. lirae.UelH will, liy cnlircly 
lirc.akiiif^ llic c.ire.iiil,c.aiiKe an alarm lolicNonnd 
e.d, alHo a.H explained in our rormer palcni.. 

Iimlead ol' (he. HlieelHd //.slieelH ol' line nicKlied 
wire, laliric, or e(|iii valenl. plialile. (;oinliiel in;^ ma- 
li'.rial may lie iiKcd. 

I laving III IIH dciic.rilied onr in veni ion, we claim 
HH new uiid ilcMire. hi Mciiirc. liy l,el.lerM I "a I en (^ — 

I. A c,nr(.aili eompoNed in pari, ol' melallie coii- 
diii'.lor ol' c.lec.l.ricil.y, lo lie iihciI hiiIimI ani.ially iiH 
herein Hpi-cilled and deKciilied. 

'J. The, niclallic (,'nd(;eoiiH of I he curl a in when 
eonneclcd willi lliir haller\ and willi Ihe melal 
lie laliricH II II ol Ihe. em lain, iiiiil conilnncd w il h 
Ihe. melallic lower lolineel ioii.s ii >/, Hiilmlaiil iaily 
im Hpc.cillcd. 

i;i)\VI,N IKH/.MICM. 

II. <;. icooMi;. 


IC. VVm. Tniiii, 
(JiiAH. V. Kniivvi.i;h. 



Improvement in Electro Magnetic Burj-^lar Proof Curtain. 

No. 120 875. Patented NoY. 14, 1871. 



Wxtntfstt: 1^ 





5 jlIiSiMMAW S^ S^mHIilPg 

cJ^emS/eJf, /^J. 

The Subscribers respectfully ask your attention to this very important invention. Daily experience 
renews our warning that no Locks or Bolts are sufficient to keep Robbers out, and also, that when they 
have entered the house they will often add murder to their crime rather than forsake their plunder. But, 
an alarm given before they enter is sure to drive them away. Of this we have abundant proof in the testi- 
mony of those who have been provided with our protection. 

Our Mr. Guest, during ten years of practical application and study, has brouglit to a perfect system the 
arrangement of an Electro-Magnetic Alarm, and we confidently offer it as free from the annoy- 
ing defects of the older efforts, and a sure protection against Burglary, and the carelessness of 
It can be put in your house at small expense, and without any injury to the building, or any material dis- 
turbance of carpets or furniture. You then have a simple and compact apparatus, ornamental in 
appearance, and easily understood, placed with its Bell and "Indicator" in any room you may select, 
and the conducting wires are attached to the windows and doors requiring them, without being 
exposed to sight at any point of their route. When the attachment is set for the night (which is 
done by the movement of a small switch on the Bell in your room), should you wish to know if any 
window or door has been accidentally left open, the movement of a Knob on the instrument will at 
once answer your enquiry. You can then retire to bed with a perfect assurance that your Bell will 
be rung loudly if any attempt is made to enter your house. 
In the morning, a reverse movement by your thumb and finger will detach the connection ; or, if you pre- 
fer not to have your sleep disturbed by the servants opening the house, you can have a "Clock 
Circuit Breaker," which can be set so that the Bell will not ring after a designated hour. 
The wires can be carried into Stables or other detached buildings, and controlled by the same instrument 

in your bedroom. 
Our Annunciator, with a needle revolving upon a dial, which is marked to correspond with the rooms, 
is a beautiful improvement upon the old system oi pull bells, whose wires require constant repairs, 
from their tendency to break or stretch. 
In addition to this protection against Burglars, and in connection with it, can be attached our patented 
Fire Alarm Apparatus. A small glass bulb, of about an inch square in size, placed in each room, 
will ring your Alarm Hell when the heat in either room becomes inordinate, and your "Indicator 
will immediately designate the locality where the danger exists. 
We have no controversy with any fair competitor, nor any disposition to bandy words with others. We 
claim to offer a superior article. A cleanly, regular, and enduring Battery ; a Bell Apparatus 
of simple and automatic construction, that requires no "expert" to regulate, and invariably receives 
commendation when inspected ; and newly-invented and patented Springs that do not break and are 
certain of action. We pay great attention also to beauty of form and finish in our instruments, so 
that they are an ornament in any house. 
We only ask an examination and comparison of relative merits. Please call at our office, and see the 
beauty and simplicity of the machinery and its operation. 


No. 5 Beekman St.. (Room 17.) New York. 


Tlie following are the well linown and representative names of a few 
t)f those who are usiiig our . 

BuB.GL.AR Alarm Telegraph. 

Merchant's Bank, - 
W. Butler Duncan, - 
Eugene Kelly, - - 
Henry Chauncey, 
Charles E. Carman, 
Henry Thompson, - 

D. L Einstein, - - 
Samuel Graydon, - - 
James K. Place, 

Jas Gordon Bennett, 
Aug. Maverick, - - 
H. W. Collender, - - 
L N. Freeman, - - 
W. K. Marvin, - - 
Sidney T. Smith, - 
Fred. Chauncey, - - 
John C. Green, - - 
James M. Shaw, - - 
G F. Dickinson, 

E. A. Price, - - - 
G. W. DeUevoise, - 
Richard H. Lane, 
Chas. O'Connor, 
John Hecker, - - - 
I. S. Abecasis, - - ■ 
R. M. Strebeigh, - - 
T J. Potter, - - - . 
M. Mahler, - - - - 
Zdwin Mead, - ■ 
T. Fred. Thomas, 
John Gay, . - . . 
John B. Squires, - - 
M. H. Livingston, - • 
P. Marrie, - - - - 
John N. Chester, 
Hon. John K. Hackett, 
James Thomson, Esq., 
Dr. E. E. Marcy, - - 
Miss Chittenden, 
John Ewen, - - - 
John M. Bruce, - - 
Hon. J. VV. Covert, - 
Jos. K. Murray, Esq., 
Oscar Darling, Esq., - 
E. B. Hinsdale, Esq., 
Charles Dupuy, - - 
Henry Clement, - - 
L. M. Franklin, - - 
E. Mitchell, - - - 

- - Inwood. 

Spuytcn Duyvel. 
• - Yonkers 

Hon. Alexander McCue, 

J. M. Van Cost, Esq., ■ 
Joseph Willets, - - - 

C. L. North, - - - - 
J. M. Canda, - - - - 
Jacob \, Bergen, Esq , - 
Capt. Wm. H. Foote, - 
Daniel Wells, - - - - 
Cameron & Daverall, - 
James Sharkey, - - 

E. \V. Crowell, - - - 
Chas. D. Wood, - - - 

F. P. Sargeant, . - - 
Daniel Willets, - - - 
Geo. Kitching, Esq., - 

D. S. Voorhis, - - - - 
Thos. McCormic, - - 
Theo. R. Brown, - - - 
Ethan A. Doty, ■ - - 
Wm. Rapelyea, - - - 
S. L. Keeney, - - - 
W. W. Kenyon, - - - 
A. J. Newton, - - - 
W. A. Mundell, - - - 
Jos. Wellsford, - - - 
Wm. M.Tebo, - - - - 
Isadore M. Bon, - - 
D. S. Hines, - - . . 
Wm. R. Tice, - - - 
James A. Taylor. - - - 
J. M. Parker, - - - 
Wm. H. Strong, - - - 
John H. Bond, - - - 
Joseph F. Knapp, - - - 
Wm. H. Guild, - - - 
Marvin Cross, - - . - 
Thos. H. Rodman, Esq., 
D. A. Sanborn, - • - 
Geo. C. Blanke, Esq., - 
Wm. Taylor, - . . . 
Henry Arthur, - - - 

I. H. Pittinger, - . - 
F. Loeser, 


1 S. Spinney, - 
C. H. Delamalcr 
Wright Duryea, 
Duncan Cryder, 
Benjamin Cox, 
A. J. Provost, ■ 

Great Neck, L 1 


Glen Cove, 


Lonsdale, R. 1. 
Westporl, Conn. 
Greenwich, " 

Hon. C. H. Van Brunt, Bay Ridge, L. 1 

John Winslow, Esq., " " 

George Self, - - . " " 

Saml. W. Thomas, 

H. D. Clapp, - - 

D. C. Winslow, Esq , " 

Wm. A. Perry, Jr., 

B. C. Townsend, - " ■■ 
John H. Bergen, Esq , Flatbush, " 
Henry Ditmas, Esq., " " 
Dr. H. T. Bvtlett, 

John B Kitching, Dobb's Ferry, N. Y. 

Dr. J. M. Ryder, 

G. W. Hatch, - . 

James Parnell, • •' •' 

Rev. E. Gilbert, • Tarrytown, " 

Wm. Butler Duncan, Staten Island. 

A R. Little, - - Philadelphia. 

Wm. A Mitchell, - 

Sl James Hotel, - 

H R. Payson, - 

Hon. T. A, Jenkes 

John M. Pinkney, 

Robert Mead, - - 

John Voorhis, - 

H. M. Bailey, - - 

Alvin Mead, - 

Thomas H. Pittis, 

Fred. Taylor, 

M. S. Allison, - - 

F. J. Mallory, 

H. A. Coursen, 

H. B. Mattison, - 

S. Covas, - - 

C. A. Miller, - - 
V. J. Hedden, - 
John W Russell, 
James Farmiloe, 
C. W. Anderson, 
L O. Gimbernat, 
James Peck, - 
A. Quereau, 
R. D. Jackson, - 
L. J. Lyons, - - 
T. W. Dawson, 
Gers. Lockwood, 
N. Perry, Jr., 
A. P. Riker, - 
Dr. C. A. Beldin, 



Jersey City, 




New Brunswick, 



Orange, N. J 

Woodside, L I. 
Jamaica, " 


Appendix S 

U.S. Patent No. 79,973 
John H. Guest, of Brooklyn, New York 

Improved Electro-Magnetic Burglar and Fire Alarm 

July 14, 1868 


United States Patent Office. 


Specification fonniDg part of LetUr. P»t«nt No. 79,973, .Iftted July 14, 1868. 

To all ic)iom it may concern: 

Be it kuowii tbat I, John H. Guest, of 
Brooklyn, in tlio county of Kings and State of 
New York, liave invented and made a certain 
new and useful Improvement in Fire and Bur- 
glar Alarms; and I do bereby declare the fol- 
lowing to be a full, clear, and exact description 
of the said invention, reference being had to 
ihe annexed drawings, making part of thiH 
SiHicification, -wberein— 

Figure 1 is au elevation of the magnets and 
bell. Fig. 2 is a plan of tbe same. Fig. 3 is 
a section of the thermal circuit-closer. Fig. 4 
is an elevation, and Fig. 5 a section, of the 
designating auddisconnectingapparatas. Fig. 
6 is a section of the circuit-closer that is con- 
nected with a window, to close the circuit when 
naid window is opened. Fig. 7 is a section of 
the circuit-closer that is employed with a door i 
or other swinging article. 

Similar marks of reference denote the same 

This apparatus is arranged upon the gener- 
ally-known plan of giving an alarm by a bell 
whenever thercircuit of a galvanic battery is 
closed by the movement of any device that 
should remain stationary, thus giving an alarm 
and indicating that some portion of the appa- 
ratus is not iu a normal condition. 

I will first describe my alarm-bell, which 
consists in two magnets, a and ft, with two 
armatures, c and d, on one lever, e, that is hung 
to oscillate, and is connected with the hammer 
/that strikes the bell g. h and t are springs 
to the adjustable circuit-closers k and L 

By reference to the lines in Fig. 2, indicating 
the wires of the electrical circuit, it will be seen 
that when the electricity passes through the 
helix of the magnet a the attraction of its ar- 
mature will separate ♦ and I and break the 
circuit to itself, and at the same time close h 
and Ic, and cause the magnet b to attract its 
armature d, and thereby reverse the circuits, 
and this is done with the utmost rapidity, 
causing the hammer to strike the bell, and that 
without depending on springs to produce the 
reverse movement, as heretofore. 

The lever e is suspended either by a spring, 
&, as shown iu Fig. 1, from the screw d', by 
which the position of thearmatures is adjusted, 
or said lever e may be centered by screws a' 
iu a yoke, I', tbat is adjusted vertically by the 
screw d', and the centering-screws o', passing 

through slots in the frame c*, prevent lateral 
motion, so that the armatures are free to vi- 
brate, but cannot easily become displaced. 
,Fig. » represents this variation in the mode of 
hanging the armatures. 

The switch c*, when standing between the 
studs 'J and 3, causes the whole apparatus to 
be inoiierative. When upon the stud 2 tbe 
apparatus is in position for use when either of 
tbe alarm circuit -closers are brought into 
action, and by turning the switch to the stud 
3 the bell may be rung to test the battery, to 
see if it is iu order, without actually examin- 
iug the pr""*^. 

The thermal circuit-closer. Fig. 3, consists 
of ai\ air-tight box, t», tbat is formed with au 
expanding liea<l,4, of thin metal, corrugated 
concentrically, and near tbe center of this is 
hinged the circuit^closer m', that, iu a normal 
condition, is sustained by tbe book 5, but when 
the air in tbe box m expands by tbe tempera- 
ture of the apartment in which it is applied, 
rising beyond a certain i>oint, the head 4, being 
pressed outwardly iu its center, causes, the 
closer m' to unlatch, and it drops upon the 
arm G, to which one wire of the circuit is con- 
nected, while the other is connected to the box 
m, thus closing the circuit and ringing the 

In Fig. 3 I have shown tbe box m and arm 
m' movable, so that they may be adjusted by a 
screw, 7, to any desired i)oint, so that the alarm 
will be given at a definite temperature, and 8 
is a dial upon which figures may be marked 
to indicate at a fixed pointer, 9, the degree of 
heat at which the apparatus will become oper- 

'^t'ive. „ ,. , o 

In Fig. 8 I have shown the screw 7, dial 8, 
and pointer 9, as applied to the hook 5. to ad- 
just tbat instead of tbe box »i. 

The circuit-closer, which becomes a temper- 
ature or fire alarm, is to be located in any de- 
sired part of a building. It is preferable that 
the same bo attached to the ceiling, as being 
iu a position to be most likely to operate by 
changes of temperature. 

The circuit closer for a window. Fig. 6, is 
made of a hanging pendulum, n, upon a fbl- 
crum, 10, to which one wire of the battery is 
applied. The upper end, 11, of this pendulum 
is a spring, and when the window-sash o is m 
its normal or closed position the pendulum n 
hangs freely in a notch in the side of the sash } 



bat as Boon as tlic snsli is raised the pendu- 
lam n is moved, and tbe spriug II comes into 
ooutAct with tbe block 12, to wliicb the otiier 
wire of tbe batterj- is connected, and thereby 
tbe circuit is closed and the alarm given. 

Tbe device for acting with a door or other 
swinging article, Fig. 7, consists in a plate, p, 
to which the spring 13 is attached, and also one 
the wires of the battery. 

14 is a second spring insulated from the 
plate p, but, for convenience, connected there- 
upon, and to this the other battery-wire is 

The door w, acting against the pusher q upon 
the spring 14, separates the springs 14 and 13 
whenHhe door is closed ; but when it is opened 
the two springs come together and close the 

The designating and disconnecting appara- 
tus (j»liown inFiga. 4 and 5) consists in a plate, 
r, to which one of the battery-wires is con- 
nected. Through this plate there are as many 
holes as there are points to be designated by 
the connections of the battery, such us " fire," 
"window," "door," or other sub-designations, 
and in each of these holes is placed a screw- 
stud, a, that is insulated fr<An said plate by 
being smaller than the hole, so as not to tonch 
it, and said stud receives it« snpportfrom the 
wooden or other non-conducting base of the 
plate r. 

A wire from thedifierent points to be desig- 
nated leads to the different studs «, and on 
each stud is a nut (, and the button-head of 
the stud may be appropriately eugraved or 
marked with the name required. 

Ail the nnts t should l>e kept screwed upon 
theplAter. Ifthe alarm-bell rings, theattcud- 
nnt unscrews first oue nut, t, and then another, 
until he arrives at the particular circuit that 

has l>©en closed and is operative, which ht 
knows by the separatiou of t and r, Stopping 
tbe bell by breaking that particular circuit, 
and thus it is known what partof the premises 
requires attention. 

In place of a metal nir-box tbe corrugated 
disk forming the circuit-closer might be set in 
a woodeu rim, and act by its expansion as tbe 
thermal circuit-closer. 

What I claim, and desire to secure by Let- 
ters Patent, is — 

1. A pairofmagnetsand armatures arranged 
niid acting in tbe manner 8)>ecifled, in combi- 
nation with a hammer and bell, tbe former 
being attacbe<l to the lever of the armature, 
for tho purposes, and as set fortii. 

2. An expansive corrugated <lisk andhinged 
arm forming a tiicrmal circuit-closer, substan- 
tially as set forth. 

3. The adjusting- screw 7, in combination 
with tbe thermal circuit-closer, as and for the 
purposes set forth. 

4. The ]>endulum and s[)ring, in combina- 
tion Willi tho circuit-wirc.H and notched sash 
or slide to close the circuit, as 8i>ecifle<l. 

5. Tbe two springs 13 14, connected with tbe 
circuit-wiri«,, in combination with the-pnsher 
g, for the puqwses, and as set forth. 

G. The plate r, screw-studs », and nuts <, con- 
structed substantially as specified, in combi- 
nation with the circuit-wires, to form a desig- 
nating or disconnecting apparatus in a fire or 
burglar alarm, substantiaily as net forth. 

lu witness whereof I have hereunto set my 
signature this 28th day of Marcli A. D. 1808. 



CuAs. H. Smith, 
Geo. D. Walker. 


Fire and Burglar Alarm. 

Patented July 14, 1868. 


Appendix T 

U.S. Patent No. 118,199 
George E. Cock and John H. Guest, of New York, N.Y, 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Burglar-Alarms 

August 22, 1871 


United States Patent Office. 



SiK-cifirntion fciniiinK part of Ix;tter« rnlciil Xo. lIH.l'.iO, ilntcil Atij;nHt 22, IWI. 

Tn nil irlmm it mny couccru: 

lie it kiiiiwM lli:it \vc, (ii:ni?r.K TO. (Jocic mul 
.lolIN II. (!l'i:sr, of lliccilv, iMiiilil V, mill St:it«Mir 
New ^oil;. Imvc invented ii new and lni|ir<ive(l 
lluij;I;ii-.\i:il III ; anil we do liereliy deehiic tliat 
the I'liUiiwiii;.' is a lull, elear, and' exact de.seii|i- 
limi lliereiil', wliieli will eiialile utlieis nkilled in 
the art In make and use the Kanie, icfei-eiiee lie- 
In;: had til the aeeiiin|ianviii;,'' dniwiiifr rorniiii;,'' 
]iai't iil° this speeilleatiiin, in which tin; dniwin;; 
relHcsenis a lace view, iiartl.v in sectiiin, iil' diii' 
iiii|iniveil liui-;;lai-alarni. 

This inveiitiiin relates to .se.xcral inipiiivenienls 
ill IhcMiniidiii^' and setliii;: aiijianilns of a Iiiir;;- 
lai'-alarni; and eonsisis,, in the. anan^^e- 
ineiit of an adjiistalile spriii;:, wheicliy the niove- 
iiienls of llie viliraliiijr aniialnie are re;rnlatcd; 
also, in the aiiplicatioii to windows of a hal- 
aiiecd iiielallic eircnil-closer, wliieli will servo to 
estalilisli a cnneiil as soon as the kji.sIi i.s moved 
or its panes are meddled with. I'^inall.v, IIk; in- 
V4-iilioii consists in the introdiielioii of a peiad- 
iar set of spriii^js hctwcen the ^ylsIl and window- 
IVaine for closin;; the ciicnit as mxiii n.s tlic kisIi 
is elcNaled. 

A in the «lr.iwiii;r i-ci>rc.senls the bell of the 
Iim';;lar-alariii. I! is the clajiper of the same, 
connected with the vilmiliii}; armature (!, which 
is pi\oted opposite the elect i'o-liia;,'liets 1). J''roni 
the anna I nil* projects a hori/ontal spring; or arm, 
fi. Ii is a flat spriii','-, secured to a fninie or hold- 
er, r, which is vcrticallv adjiislalile on a post, il, 
of the inslriimciit. Ity mean.s of a stn'cw. c, the 
Npriii;; /m-iiii 1)1! secured at a suitalile <lista!ice 
aliove the arm <i. J>nriu;; the vihralion of tiic 
armatnre the spiiiif,' w will strike the sprin;,'/' 
with ^jreatcror lesser intensity, accordin;: to the 
height of the latter. The stroUes of thearma- 
tnri! are thereby controlled, the clapper bein^ 
thrown with >;reatcr or lesser violeiico ajrainst 
Iho btrll. The ahiiin iiistrnmcnt is, by wires _/' 
and </, connecteil with the battery and with two 
metal jilates, E and 1'". The jilati* K is sunk 
into tli<! top of the window-frnnic G, and is, at 
A, iiiHiilateil I'lxMu the plate F held ab<)\o it. II 
is a metal beam or bar, ]iivoted at / to metal 
luf,'H that project from the plati! E. One end ol' 
the Ileum II is wei;;liteil by a ball, _;, or eipiiv- 
alent means. 'J'he other end is, by a cord or 
chiiiii, I, eonnected with the lower wlndowsash 
•I. 'J'liis chain, when the sash is down, holds 
the beniit II balanced, iso that neither end is in 
coiiUict with llio iilafo F iibovo. Wlioii, how- 

ever, the chain is )inlled by inoddlinK with the 
windinvpancs oi' direct, contact, it draws one. end 
of the beam down and swin^^s the wei;,'litcd end 
a;rainst the plale l'\ \\'hen, on the coiiliary, the 
i-liain is slackened by ele\atin;,' the lower sash 
or cut, t lie \\ci;,'lilcd end of tliC! beam II descends 
and carries the other end in contact with the 
plale !■". In either case, therefore, melallie i-oii- 
nection between the plates E and !•' is eslab- 
lishcd. and, conseipieiitly, n circnil thriiii;,'h 
the wires and the alarm instinment operaleil. 
|)nrin;r day-lime the <'liain <-an be, disconncited 
from the .sash .1 and put out of the way. 'J'he. 
wii'cs /■ and f/ connect, also, with plates Ij and 
.M, which are secured to the. inner ed;:e of the 
window-fraine, belwcen the Kaino and the e<l;,'e 
of the u iiidiiw-sasli. The iipiier spriii;,'-plate Ii 
sprin;;s into a notch, /, of the window-.s;isli when 
the latter is down or clo.sed; but when the K;niie 
is mi.scil it <-rowds the plale L a;;ainst ii spring, 
N','\vhi<-li is in contact with M, and eslablislie.s 
thereby metallic connection iM-tweeii the \viiv«/ 
and //. 

A metal jilate, )//, ChIII be secnrwl to thcodgo 
of the sash to make <liroct eoiiiiection iK-tweeii 
the plate Land M. 

The plate Ii may be sus|ieuded from its fast- 
eiic<l end, and the jilale .M project upwanl, as 
shown, at the left-hand side of the dniwiii;:, or 
both be siispeiided, as on the. ri;;ht-liand siih*. 
In the lattci' case the sprin;,' X and jilate in may 
both be dispiMised with. \\'lien the .sash is rai.sed 
clear of the plales I, ,M, to be no Ion;;ei- in <'on- 
lacl. with the same, the cir<'.uit is closed by the 
spriii;r of Ihe plates, wlilcli tlirow8 tliein in con- 
tact with cai'li other. 

I la\ ing thus described our invention, we claim 
as new and desire lo. secure by l.etlers Patent — 

1. The aiij list a I lie sprin;:/>, applied to the alarm 
aiiparalnsaiiovc I In; arm or springs of tin- arma- 
ture, as specilied. 

1,'. The beam II, pivoted between the plates K 
and l'\ and wei;:lited at one end to operate sub- 
Ktantialiy in tiie manner herein shown and de- 

."I. 'J'he spiin;;.iilatcs L M, eoinbined with Ihe 
H|triiij: N.iind applied to the window -frame, sub- 
Httmtialh' as specilied. 


JOHN II. (ii;i;.sT. 


T. 11. .Mii.'^m;!!, 
(iKu. W. Maiiki:. 


G. E. COCK & J. H. GUEST. 
Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Burglar Alarms. 

No. 118,199. Patented Aug. 22, 1871. 

^ ^ 



Appendix U 

U.S. Patent No. 110,362 

Edwin Holmes, of New York, N.Y. 


Henry C. Roome, of Jersey City, New Jersey 

Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Envelopes for 
Safes, Vaults, & c. 

December 20, 1870 


Mmk^ MkUs latent iffitt 


LetUn Ftt«Bt, Ko. UO.Sn, a*t«d D«««Bber 20, 1870. 



Tb* ■ohadnl* t mUata to la thM* Lattata ritant md Baildnc p«t of tb* i 

To (M? vX«M << meg oon««m : 

B« it ImowD that we, EoViv Uolxes, ol tb« 
dty, coaoty, Mrd Stnto of New Tork, and HmrsT 0. 
BooicB, of J en«7 Olty, la tbe ooonty of Hacboo aod 
Stale of New Jeney, Lave laventcd » new Rod Mcftil 
ElMtro-Hagaetlo Eurelope orL<nlDgfpr8afe«,yaaIta, 
Mxl otber ttmotore*, of wbkh tbe following U • fall, 
cle«r, tod exact detcrlptioo, reference being b«d to 
tbe ftooomp«ayliig draving fonning p«rt of tola tpeo- 
lA««Uoii, aod 1q which — 

Flgnre 1 npn»mt$ m Interior ''no* ▼!«» of oar 
Improred eorelope.or lining, m applied to tbe one 
tldeof auft or Tkolt or wooden CMe lnclo«lng tbe 
Hune; »ai 

Flgnre 3, a traoartrae aeotion tbereof, la part. 

Similar lettert of referenoe Indicate oorrecpondlng 
part*. . 

Our fareotioa relatea to eleotro-mognetlc attaoh- 
menta fo atfe*, T*olt«, and otber ttra«tnr«t. or In- 
olcMrea for openitlDg a barglarnilarm,. apoa any at- 
tempt bdiig mnde to break into or Improperiylater- 
' fere with tCe aafe,.TaaIt, or atmotnre; and 

Tbe InrestlOQ conalata In an electric envelope or 
lining applied to aoob atrootare or atmotorea, ao that 
any perdiratloa by a metallic loatniment or ooodoctor 
of aald enrelope or lining, wben the^aame la properly 
connected with a batterr and bell, or any aetering of 
Ita connect loo witb tbe battery, aball aonnd an alvm. 

Tlie loreatloo oomprlaea a comUBatlon of an ele<v 
tr1<; enrelope or Ui^lng for aafea, raalta, and otber 
atroetarea, with a nlranometer or loatrament, tbe 
moreraeota of wbloB are prodaoed by rarlatlooa io a 
onrrent of elec-tridty fnxn a battery or other eleotr1<*l 
app&iuUu,lo ooQoeotioQ with tbe safe, raalt, or itriKV 

Said iarenttoD alao inolnde* n peoaltar conitruotlon 
of tbe enrelope or lining, by makhig It of aeparate 
parta or plat^ wblcb oooceot with tha oppoalte pole* 
of tbe batt«r7, and wblob are lmp«rfbotly loamated 
(h>t& eaeb o(ti«r, or are oooneoted wltb oaoh otbe^ by 


^Inrentioa alao embraoea an enrelope or llnlpg 
of tbe eharaeter apedfied. made of tbln, pliable aheeta 
of metal, aud Inanlsted nx>m each otlier by a. pliable 
noo-ooodootor, ao that wben glued or eemented to- 
getber Ibey lurm a aiogle abeec. Tbe Inaalatlnganb- 
ataooe we prefer to oae la oompoaed of a ooatlog of 
grtm-abelbto'and paper or olotb. 
Beferring to tbe aooompailyiag drawing — 
*Moi t repreaent two this and pliable plntea of 
abpc* metal, ao Inaalated (Vom eaob other tbM tbey 
wlQ allow of a aligbt oorreat o{ elebtridty to pau 
(h>m ooa to tbe other wbaa tbe plates aro ooooeoted 
wftfa the <^>po«lt« polea of a bUUrj. 

Tbla inaoUtlon Is effected eltber by Introdnolng a 
partial condootor between the pUtea, or by making 
the Iniulatlng enbrtioce ao thin io one or moreplacea 
that It will allow of tbe passage of a slight onrreot 
tliroogh It, or a like effect may be prodooed by per- 
fectly liiiulatlng tbe platea • and h, as by an Insu- 
lator, «, and eooneotlng them together by a realating 
ooO or medinm,/, which Iwt, for the parpoae of more 
clearly explaining tbe action of tbe enrelope or lining, 
la 'l>e arraogemeot shown In tbe drawing. 

The two platea « and h being Inaalated. aa deaodbed, 
npon the anrfcoe of floe of them la gla«d or eementwl 
another plate or aheet of InsaUtlog material, ^, and 
upon this inaalator la glaod or cemented a tbln ooo- 
tinoooa ribbon, rf, of metal, arranged to lie In oonro- 
latlona or Id a dgtag manner orer the entire aur&oe 
of snld inaalator e". 

Th6 iiiaulatora o C* we prefer to make of cloth or 
paper, properly coated with gum^abellao, and ao that 
tbey, lllce tbe metallic oondnoton which tber Inaalate, 
are pliable, whereby tbe whole may be applied in tlie 
form of a aingle aheet aa dn enrelopa or lining to a 
safe, malt, or otber atroctore. or to the Inside of a 
wooden oorerlng aurroandlng toe aame. 

Ooe end of tbe ribbon i la oonneeted, aa by • wlrr, 
I, witb the one pole of a battery, ao4 the (^r end 
thereof witb tbe plate a. 

The raalataooe-coll/ la connected with tbe platea • 
and t at polnta # at>d 1^ and tbe plate ) ooooeoted aa 
by a wire, t with the oppoalte pole of the battery to 
that with which the ribbon 4 la ooaneot«d. 

When the wire* k and I are connected aa dcacribcd, 
a altgbt oorreat of eleotrldtr paasiog to tbe ribbon d, 
flowi aroand tbe eotlr« safe or vAoJt to the pUt« •» 
tbroagh tbe reaUtanco-coll / to the plate h, Kii'ttom 
tbenoe through the rtlre k to the battery. 

Any attempt te perforate the envelope or lining by 
a matallto Inatmmeot, wonld eaL&bllsb a perfect eleo- 
trloal coanectlon between tbe plates a and i, and the 
oorrent not being obliged to poas through the realat- 
aooe^ooi) /, the now woakl be greatJr looreaacd. 
- Sboald an entrance be attent^tcd by using a non- 
co&daotlng Inatrnnieot, the metal ribbon d wonld be. 
aerered aM thedronltbrokeQ,or tlie outtiog of either 
wire k or I would bare the aame effect 

To obtain an alarm from tbe flaotaatloa or atop- 
page of the oarrent, aa thua prodoeed, It only reqnlrea 
to connect tbe wire* k and I with a galranometer, or 
loatrument the meaauremeot* of which are pro- 
duced by rarlatiooa In a oarrent of eleotxidty fh)m a 
bat^err or otber eleotiloal apparatus, In coonectloQ 
with the lafe, rault, or atmotnre. A 1^ in oonneo- 
tloQ wHh tiK appajatoa, may be naed to give the 


Wtukt I* b«re eUioMd. tod d««ired to be tee' ^ bj 
I/Wtws PiOcot,!*-:- 

1. An eiiTekitw or liolng for tofei, rjuilta, aod other 
ttmctnrM, compoaed of two p«rU or ooodacton tm- 
perfctalr Uualat^ fixxn each other or oonn«ote<I with 
encb other IhrtMfth a re«UtAi>c»-oo(l or medlam, and 
In coniKsctlon wltli th« opposite pdle« of arhittery or 
olli«r electrlaU app«nUas, Tut tetioa lu ipcdfled. 

2. Tb« comUaition of »n electrio earelope or lin- 
ing for tafe*, raall*, aod other strootare*, with a gnl- 
raoo<Det«r or loctniineiit, the raoremeota of wLlch 
aP8 produoed h/ TarhOJoo In a current of electricity 
Oroor a battery or other electrical apparatnt, In con- 
Dectioa with a lafe, raalt, or (tnictare, lubatantlally 
ai herein deicribed. 

S. An electro-magnetio enrelope or llnlnj, com- 
poaed of tUa and pflable «be«t- of metO, loaalat«d 
from e«ch other by pliable non-ooodootor», «o tbat 
when gined or ceraent<xl together, the whole form a 
tingle theet, inbctantUlly a« tpedflrd. 

i. The ooniblnatJon of the metalUo theeta or plate* 
a b, the iDinlatlng ibeeta e e', the metalllo ribbon d, 
tb« re*liUr>o»-oolT or medlam /, aod the battery-wlrea 
or cooDeetlooi k I, etaentlallr a« described. 



IlBjrBT 0. BiLKKA, 

Akdbkw Buboh, Jr. 



No 110 362. Patented Deo. 20, 1870. 




Appendix V 

U.S. Patent No. 120,874 

Edwin Holmes, of Brooklyn, New York 


Henry C. Roome, of Jersey City, New Jersey 

Improvement in Electric Linings for Safes 

November 14, 1871 



United States Patent Office. 

HDWIN II()!-MKS, Ol" I'.KOOK I-VX, NKW YOIIK, AND III;N1!V C. I.'OO.M |;, OI" .1 i;i;. 

.si;v ciTV, XKW .ii;i;si:v. 


Hpociliciitioii f.iriiiinK' ptiil i.f I.<j|,t,c,rH I'ut.iiit Nii. 1-.'0,H7.1, (liitccl KcvciiilM^r U, 1K71. 

'I'd ((II irlitnii it iii((i/ <<ni(:crn: 

\U- il, Uiicnvn tliiitr we, ICdwin II()I,M';.s, oT 
l!rii<il;l_\ II, III llic. c.iimil.y (iC Kinj^H iiiid SlMtodC 
New ^■<lll,, :iMil iIi:Ni:V <;. KodMi;, 111' .Jciscy 
(!ily, ill lliic.iiiuily iiC lliidsdii ;iii(i .Sl:ii(; of New 
tIc.iNc._v, Ikivc, iiivc.iilc.d :i nc.w :iii(] ii.scriil liii|in)V('- 
iiiciil. ill llic, A|i|ili("il.i(Mi of ICIc.ctiic. Liiiiiif^ to 
V;iiills, Suli H, :iiiil oilier hIi'iicIiiics; jiiid wc do 
licrchy dnhiK; ),li:il, llic rollowili;,' i.M ;i lull, clc.;!!', 
iiiid c..\:ic.l (irsc,ri|ilioii (licic.ol, uliicli will cii:ll)l(; 
olliciH Nkillcd ill tlic, :irl. lo iii;ikc ;iiid use, the 
Hiiiiic, icCcrc.iicc. Iicih;; li;i<l U\ the. accoiiijciiiyiii^; 
dniwiiid f'(ii'iiiiii(; pjirt, of tlii.s Hpccilicjitioii. 

I'"i>,'iirc I rc.|ii'cHc.iilM il Hc.ctioii;d c.lcxiitioii pro- 
vid('<l our improved clcc.liic exterior c;iHiiig. 
l''iK. 'J, in II liori-/.<iiiUil Kc.etioli of tlu; Kitiiie. r'i«. 
.'J w !i dc.(4iil Hcetioii of p;iit of (lie Hcieeii. 

Hiinilur !c,( t<;rHorre,rer(!ii(;c. iiidie.jitc (;orre.Hpoiid- 
iii^C p;iiiK. 

'J'IiIh iii\'e,iilioii rc.Iiit^'x Ui :iii improved mclliod 
of iipplyiii^; elee.trie-jihiriii :ipp;ii:it,iiH to h;i('(;h, 
v;iiill.M, iiiid other KtnieliircH, with the view to 
;,'rc;itcr enieieney of action aii<l Nimpler mod*! of 

'I'lic iiK^thod lierelxiforc, em|iloyed haw \hh:\\ (o 
apply a lining <-.oiiiiec,l^;d with the electric appa- 
latiiH dircci ly U) the iiiHidc oC the naCe or vaull.M. 
Whenever hiicIi a Kale, or vault i.s atta<k('d liy 
liui^jlaiM il i.s injured or dcHtroycd before tlie 
liniiit,' in icaeiied and ( lie alarm ^i veil. 'I "o remedy 
I hi.s defei I we liiiild around (lie .sti uetiire, A to 
lie (,'iiaiiled all c.vlerior c;mc, (d \v liii h Ihc liliiii(,' 
li, uhich may e<iiiMiHt e.idier <if niilallic kIiccIh 
or a iiel work ol' wircM, in applied, ;iimI u liieh Hliail 
<oiiK(i(ii(e, an exterior electrieal Inn t,dar. proof 
Nate lit itKi'If, MO that if any allempl lie. made, to 
enter liy ciilliiij;, drillinj,' in hrc^akiiif^ tliroii(;li 
an alarm « ill lie wiiiiidcil heloic ( he kI i net iire- 
i;ii;iiilcd A IK ilHcIf rcji.hiil. 'I'Ihh c\l<-rirn- in 
'loKiiic l; is provided «illi ;i ,l.,.n, »(, lliioii(,'li 
will. I, :i,icKM may lie (,'aine<l |<. ||,c lioor ot the 

Ktructurc ^jiiardcd, and .said door iH'in^,' ]iro\idc(l 
with the .usual Hiiriiif,'.s to lircak or I' 
electrical contact, in tin; act of opeiiin;,' or clu-- 
in^^ If any pai I iciilar portion of a sale or \miiIi 
is (considered c.>pccially liahle to the assaiill.s ui 
hur{,dais and the remainder flioii^ht to lie .safe, 
we. apply to that particular portion a section ol' 
this c.vleiior case, willioiil inelosin;,' the whole. 
We iiicfer to liiiild this outer iiielo.siinr of w nod 
or papier-mache //, and apply the elect lical liiiiii;; 
i: lo it.s interior surface. To protect, the liiiin;^ 
from injury by contact w illi the sides of the safe, 
or vault wc; either a thin partition, J, 
of wood, papierniaclK', <ir straw-board between 
the two, oi- set the liiiint; a short distance from 
(he wall of such safe or vault, to obtain an iiiter- 
iriediate air-space. The lining; of the dooi Mliould 
always be, so pidtc<-.te(l by haviii;; the interior 
partition fa-steiicd lo the outer dooi-, thus inclos- 
'u\li the lining lictwecn two protecting; .surfaces. 
The liiiiiif,' iiiav lie apiilied directly to lla; exte- 
rior .surfa<e. of (he safe proper and beeo\eie<l 
by (,lic, protect inj,' surface. 'I'lie electrii; lining 
may, however, also be applied to the exterior 
body of the safe without the use of an outer 

Having thus di-.scribed our invention, we. claim 
as new and <le.sire to .secure, liy Ixitters I'alent — 

I. A safe oi- vault, pro\ ided with an electric 
oilier liniiif^ Kurronndin;^ or coveiin),' il wholly 
or in part, and insiilateil Iherefrom, and piolcet- 
ed, HiibstanI i;illy as herein shown and specilii-d. 

li. TlieexleiiiM iiiclosure II, niaile ol I he part.s 
/; and c, snbslanl ially as herein sliou n and dc 
Kcrilieil, to lie applied to a .safi: or \aiill, in llie 
manner Hpceilieil. 

i;i)\Vl.\ ii()l,.Mi;.S. 
II. <'. IMXl.Mi-;. 

Wit nesscs: 

U. Wm. I'dDI), 

.IA.MI..S I (II l£.Ni:V. (I'-*'^) 


ImnroYemont in Lining for Safes 

No. 120,874. 


Patented Nov. 14, 1871. 

J^, ,..,;v/. 

<^icr. 3 



Ik'low arc sonic of llic 15aiil<.s and .rewclci's wlio 
wc'ic \\s\i\i2; llic Holmes CcnLial Ollicc Trolcction in 
lH7-J-7.'5-7Is many oC which have hcen luiving uninter- 
rnpled serx'ice np lo Ihe ])i-csc'nt lime. 

HANKS. .n:\ and oriiKiis. 

Allim(i<' N'MlidiiMl Bank Tinnny & Co. i>( Wh- SlalL' of Nl-w York Knns Riclianksoii & Co. 

liouciy IliMik liciu-ilict I5rollici-s 

(•(irii kxcliaii);.- nar\k SiLssTcId, I,or.scli 5>: Co. 

Cliiilluiin Hank Keller ..S; Unlciincycr 

C'oiiliiiciilal Hank I.. & .M. Iv'nlm 

Div CikkI.s Hank lIiMiry Girniell 

n.'sl National Hank l.issaiiiT .V .Snndlii-ini 

r'aiiiKis' Loan and Trnst Coin|).iny .lo.sepli H. Howdcn 

del inan-.\inciicai\ Hank Uandall, Harctnoro & Co. 

Il,inn\(i- Nat. Hank 1 Iddcnpvl, 'rnni\i.son iV Co. 

.Market Hank Al'-x. M. llay.s .S: Co. 

.Manulaetnrei-.s' and Merclianl.s' H.ank Hryanl .'^ Hentley Hank lle.sseks \ l.ndekc 

.S.'vcnll. Ward Hank I'hillip Hi.s.singer 

■I'liinl National Hank N'ielor Hi.slio]) 

Maidiattan .Savinn'.s 1>. H. \\'iekli.nn 

KmiK'i-anl I rial .S.-ivinps Hank Smith ^: Hedges 

j' liiver NaUonid Hank l':i.';ein.ian Hrollic-r.s 

Tnion llaid; Iv Aufi. Nere.slieinier 

IniiMH-lers iN; Trader.s Hank Il.nle Hrollicr.s 

N.nlli Kiver Hank 'fraltel Hrolhcrs 

Hid.-hers vV Dn.ver.s National Hank .Seliwnh Hro.s. & Co. 

.Shoe and l.<Mllu-r Nali(nial Hank M'ood & 1 Inches 
Meehanir.s & Traders N'alion.a! Hank Wn.. S. Hedges & Co. 

Hank of .\loiih-eal .\. .1. Hedges & Co. 

Haid; of the Ii(i)Ml.lie 'I'lieo. U. Starr Side .lo.s. Frankel 
Citizens' Saving.s Hank Downing & ICcllcr 

Cennan Saving.s Uaiik Ko.s.sntli, Marx Ot Co. Helinoiit & Co. Teinu-r it Hanni 
Winslow, l.anicr & Co. Harlen.s & Uicc 

.M. .Morgan'.s Soils .1. I'",. Kohcrt 
.1. .1. Stnarl ^; Co. A. Wnllacli & Co. 

.1. H. Colgati- iS: C(). Ii,,hl>ins & Apjileton 

.Midnal Life Insnr.anco Company l.yon & Hardy 

l'',i|Mitalile Life Insuraneo Company W'ni, Ucinian 
New '^'ork Life In.SMraiiec Companv Kaufman Hros. 
Phelps. Dodge & Co. ' .1 nlme Hros. 

I'ennsvlvaiiia Coal Company Chenev Hro.s., Silks 

•loliM .iacol) Ast(n- .lohn N. Stearns & Co. 
William A.stor Mills & Gihb 

\'ermil\-e A; Co. Nonotnck Silk Company 

Reprinted from, Edwin T. Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years . (New York, 
1917), 41. 




Name Year of Birth Move in Age Move out Age 

LeGrand Jr. 




Wil listen 












Fl orence 










Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum 





Cellar Doors 


Parlor and Dining Room 

Guest Chambers 

Servants Rooms 

Kitchen and Laundry 

Florence's Room 

Family Rooms 



Sitting Room 



Library and Music Roan 

Wine Cellar 

Cellar Doors 

Kitchen and Laundry 

Parlor and Dining Room 

Billiards and Lunch Rooms 

Servants Roans 



Family Rooms 

Willie's Room 

Arthur's Room 

Sitting Room 





The McWilliamses 
and the Burglar Alarm 

The conversation drifted smoothly and pleasantly along from weather 
to crops, from crops to literature, from literature to scandal, from scan- 
dal to religion; then took a random jump, and landed on the subject 
of burglar alarms. And now for the first time Mr. McWiUiams showed 
feeling. Whenever I perceive this sign on this man's dial, I compre- 
hend it, and lapse into silence, and give him opportunity to unload his 
heart. Said he, with but ill-controUed emotion: 

I do not go one single cent on burglar alarms, Mr. Twain-not a single 
cent-and I will tell you why. When we were finishing our house, we 
found we had a Uttle cash left over, on account of the plumber not 
knowing it. I was for enhghtening the heathen with it, for I was al- 
ways unaccountably down on the heathen somehow; but Mrs. McWil- 
Uams said no, let's have a burglar alarm. I agreed to this compromise. 
1 will explain that whenever I want a thing, and Mrs. McWilhams wants 
another thing, and we decide upon the thing that Mrs. McWilliams 
wants-as we always do— she calls that a compromise. Very well: the 
man came up from New York and put in the alarm, and charged three 
hundred and twenty-five dollars for it, and said we could sleep with- 
out uneasiness now. So we did for awhile— say a month. Then one night 
we smelled smoke, and I was advised to get up and see what the matter 
was. I lit a candle, and started toward the stairs, and met a burglar 
coming out of a room with a basket of tinware, which he had mistaken 
(or solid sUver in the dark. He was smoking a pipe. I said, "My friend, 
we do not allow smoking in this room." He said he was a stranger, 
and could not be expected to know the rules of the house: said he 
bad been in many houses just as good as this one, and it had never 
been objected to before. He added that as far as his experience went, 
rich rules had never been considered to apply to burglars, anyway. 

I said: "Smoke along, then, if it is the custom, though 1 tliink that 


tlie cx>ncedmg of a privilege to a burglar which is denied to u bishop 
is a conspicuous sign of the looseness of the times. But waiving all that, 
what business have you to be entering this house in this furtive and 
clandestine way, without ringing the burglar alarm?" 

He looked confused and ashamed, and said, with embarrassment; "I 
beg a thousand pardons. I did not know you had a burglar alarm, else 
I would have rung it I beg you will not mention it where my parents 
may hear of it, for they are old and feeble, and such a seemingly wanton 
breach of the hallowed conventionalities of our Christian civilization 
might all too rudely sunder the frail bridge which hangs darkling be- 
tween the pale and evanescent present and the solemn great deeps of 
the eternities. May 1 trouble you for a match?" 

I said: "Your sentiments do you honor, but if you will allow me to 
say it, metaphor is not your best hold. Spare your thigh; this kind light 
only on the box, and seldom there, in fact, if my experience may b« 
trusted. But to return to business: how did you get in here?" 

"Through a second-story window." 

It was even so. I redeemed the tinware at pawoibroker's rates, less 
cost of advertising, bade the burglar good-night, closed the window 
after him, and retired to headquarters to report Next morning we sent 
for the burglar-alarm man, and he came up and explained that the 
reason the alarm did not "go oflT was that no part of the house but the 
first floor was attached to the alarm. This was simply idiotic; one might 
as well have no armor on at all in battle as to have It only on his legj. 
The expert now put the whole second story on the alarm, charged 
three hundred dollars for it and went his way. By and by, one night, 
I found a burglar in the third story, about to start down a ladder with 
a lot of miscellaneous property. My first impulse was to crack his head 
with a billiard cue; but my second was to refrain from this attention, 
because he was between me and the cue rack. The second impulse 
was plainly the soundest so I refrained, and proceeded to compromisa. 
1 redeemed the property at former rates, after deducting ten per cent 
for use of ladder, it being my ladder, and next day we sent down 
for the expert once more, and had the third story attached to the alarm, 
for three hundred dollars. 

By this tLme the "annunciator" had grown to formidable dimensions. 
It had forty-seven tags on it marked with the names of the various 
rooms and chimneys, and it occupied the space of an ordinary ward- 
robe. The gong was the size of a wash-bowl, and was placed above the 
head of our bed. There was a wire from the house to the coachman 'i 
quarters in the stable, and a itoble gong alongside his pillow. 


We should have been comfortable now but for one defect. Every 
Qiorning at five the cook opened the Idtchen door, in the way of busi- 
ness, and rip went tliat gongi The first time this happened I thought the 
last day was come sure. I didn't think it in bed— no, but out of it— for 
tlie first effect of that frightful gong is to hurl you across tlie house, 
and slam you against the wall, and then curl you up, and squirm you 
like a spider on a stove hd, till somebody shuts the kitchen door. In 
solid fact, there is no clamor that is even remotely comparable to the 
dire clamor which that gong makes. Well, this catastrophe happened 
every morning regularly at five o'clock, and lost us three hours sleep; 
(or, mind you, when that thing wakes you, it doesn't merely wake you 
Id spots; it wakes you all over, conscience and all, and you are good 
for eighteen hours of wide-awakeness subsequently— eighteen hours of 
the ver>' most inconceivable wide-awakeness that you ever experienced 
la your life. A stranger died on our hands one time, and we vacated 
and left him in our room overnight. Did that stranger wait for tlie gen- 
eral judgment'P No, sir; he got up at five die next morning in tfie most 
prompt and unostentatious way. 1 knew he would; I knew it mighty well. 
He collected his life-insurance, and hved happy ever after, for there 
was plenty of proof as to the perfect squareness of his death. 

Well, we were gradually fading toward a better land, on account 
uf the daily loss of sleep; so we finally had the expert up again, and he 
ran a wire to the outside of the door, and placed a switch there, whereby 
Thomas, the butler, always made one httle mistake— he switched the 
alarm off at night when he went to bed, and switched it on again at day- 
break in the morning, just in time for the cook to open the kitchen 
door, and enable that gong to slam us across the house, sometimes 
breaking a window with one or the other of us. At the end of a week 
we recognized that this switch business was a delusion and a snare. We 
also discovered that a band of burglars had been lodging in tlie house 
Ibe whole time— not exactly to steal, for there wasn't much left now, 
but to hide from the poUce, for they were hot pressed, and they 
shrewdly judged that the detectives would never tliink of a tribe of 
burglars taking sanctuary in a house notoriously protected by the most 
Imposing and elaborate burglar alarm in America. 

Sent down for the expert again, and this time he struck a most daz- 
iling idea-he fixed the thing so that opening the kitchen door would 
take off the alarm. It was a noble idea, and he charged accordingly. 
But you aheady foresee the result. I switched on the alarm every night 
at bed-time, no longer trusting on Thomas's frail memory; and as soon 


as the lights were out the burglars walked In at the Idtchen door, thus 
tiidng the alarm off without waiting for the cook to do it in the morning. 
You see how aggravatingly we were situated. For months we couldn't 
have any company. Not a spare bed in the house; all occupied by 

Finally, I got up a cure of my own. The expert answered the call, 
and ran another ground wire to the stable, and established a switch 
there, so that the coachman could put on and take oS the alarm. That 
worked first rate, and a season of peace ensued, during which we got 
to inviting company once more and enjoying Ufe. 

But by and by the irrepressible alarm invented a new kink. One win- 
ter's night we were flung out of l)ed by the sudden music of that awful 
gong, and when we hobbled to the annunciator, turned up the gas, and 
saw the word "Nursery" exposed, Mrs. McWiUiams fainted dead away, 
and I came precious near doing the same thing myself. I seized my 
shotgun, and stood timing the coaclunan wliilst that appalhng buzzing 
went on. I knew that his gong had flung him out, too, and that he 
would be along witli liis gun as soon as he could jump into his clothes. 
When 1 judged tfiat the time was ripe, I crept to the room next the 
nursery, glanced tfuough the window, and saw the dim outhne of the 
coachman in the yard below, standing at present-arms and waiting for a 
chance. Then I hopped into the nursery and fired, and in the same 
instant the coachman fired at the red flash of my gun. Both of us were 
successful; I crippled a nurse, and he shot off all my back hair. We 
turned up the gas, and telephoned for a surgeon. There was not a sign 
of a burglar, and no wmdow had been raised. One glass was absent, 
but that was where the coachman's charge had come tluough. Here 
was a fine mystery-a burglar alarm "going ofT at midnight of its own 
accord, and not a burglar in the neighborhood! 

The expert answered the usual call, and explained that it was a 
"False alarm." Said it was easily fixed. So he overhauled tlie nursery 
window, charged a remunerative figure for it, and departed. 

What we suffered from false alarms for the next three years no st>'lo- 
graphic pen can describe. During the next three months I always flew 
with my gun to the room indicated, and the coachman always sallied 
fortli with his battery to support me. But there was never anything to 
shoot at— windows all tight and secure. We always sent down for the 
expert next day, and he fixed those particular windows so they would 
keep quiet a week or so, and always remembered to send us a bill 
about like this. 


Wire $215 

Nipple 75 

Two hours' labor 1.50 

Wax 47 

Tape 34 

Screws .15 

Recharging battery 98 

Three hours' labor 2.25 

String 02 

Lard 66 

Pond's Extract 1.25 

Springs at 50 ■. . . , 2.00 

Railroad fares 7.25 


At length a perfectly natural thing came about— after we had an- 
swered three or four hundred false alarms— to wit, we stopped answer- 
ing them. Yes, I simply rose up calmly, when slammed across the house 
by the alarm, calmly inspected the annunciator, took note of the room 
Indicated, and then calmly disconnected that room from the alarm, and 
went back to bed as if nothing had happened. Moreover, I left that room 
off permanendy, and did not send for the expert. Well, it goes without 
saying that in the course of time all the rooms were taken off, and 
the entire machine was out of service. 

It was at this unprotected time that the heaviest calamity of all hap- 
pened. The burglars walked in one night and carried off the burglar 
alarml yes, sir, every hide and hair of it: ripped it out, tooth and nail; 
springs, bells, gongs, battery, and all; they took a hundred and fifty 
miles of copper wire; they just cleaned her out, bag and baggage, and 
never left us a vestige of her to swear at— swear by, I mean. 

We had a time of it to get her back; but we accomplished it finally, 
for money. The alarm firm said that what we needed now was to have 
her put in right— with their new patent springs in the windows to make 
false alarms impossible, and their new patent clock attached to take off 
and put on the alarm morning and night without human assistance. 
That seemed a good scheme. They promised to have the whole thing 
finished in ten days. They began work, and we left for the summer. 
They worked a couple of days; then they left for the summer. After 
which the burglars moved in, and began their summer vacation. When 
we retujrned in the fall, the house was as empty as a beer closet in 


premises where painters have been at work. We refurnished, and then 
sent down to hurry up the expert He came up and finished the job, 
and said: "Now this clock is set to put on the alarm every night at lo, 
and take it off every morning at 5:45. All you've got to do is to wind 
her up every week, and then leave her alone— she will take care of the 
alarm herself." 

After that we had a most tranquil season during three months. The 
bill was prodigious, of course, and I had said I would not pay it until 
the new machinery had proved itself to be flawless. The time stipulated 
was three months. So I paid the bill, and the very next day the alarm 
went to bu22ing like ten thousand bee swarms at ten o'clock in the 
morning. I turned the hands around twelve hours, according to instruc- 
tions, and this took off the alarm; but tiiere was another hitch at night, 
and I had to set her ahead twelve hours once more to get her to put 
the alarm on again. That sort of nonsense went on a week or two, then 
the expert came up and put in a new clock. He came up every tliree 
months during the next three years, and put in a new clock. But it was 
always a failure. His clocks all had the same perverse defect: they 
would put the alarm on in the daytime, and they would not put it on at 
night; and if you forced it on yourself, they uxntld take it off again 
the minute your back was turned. 

Now there is the history of that burglar alarm— everything just as It 
hapjjened; nothing extenuated, and naught set down In mahce. Yes, 
sir,— and when I had slept nine years with burglars, and maintained an 
expensive burglar alarm the whole time, for their protection, not mine, 
and at my sole cost— for not a d d cent could I ever get them to con- 
tribute—I just said to Mrs. McWilliams that I had had enough of that 
land of pie; so with her full consent I took the whole thing out and 
traded it off for a dog, and shot the dog. I don't know what you think 
about it Mr. Twain; but / think those things are made solely in the 
interest of the burglars. Yes, sir, a burglar alarm combines in its person 
all that is objectionable about a fire, a riot and a harem, and at the 
same time had none of the compensating advantages, of one sort or 
another, that customarily belong with that combination. Good-by: I get 
off here. 




(1) The term building systems is used in this 
context to include lighting; water systems (drainage 
and plumbing); climate control (heating and ventila- 
tion); cooking facilities and kitchens; as well as 
security systems. 

(2) New York was the first city in America to 
institute a public police force in 1844. Philadel- 
phia followed in 1854, and by the 1870s almost all 
major American cities had municipal police forces. 

(3) The Oxford English Dictionary , 2d ed , s.v. "securi- 
ty." See also Webster ' s New World Pi ctionary , 2d 
ed . , s.v. "security." 

(4) Charles S. Chamberlin, "A Short History of 
Private Security," Assets Protection 4 (1979): 35. 

(5) For a discussion of the evolution of locks 
and others methods of protection see, Vincent J.M. 
Eras, Locks and Keys Throughout the Ages (Folke- 
stone: Bailey Bros and Swinfen Ltd. , 1974) and 
Robert Kraske, Si 1 ent Sentinel s : The Story of Locks , 
Vaul ts and Burgl ar Al arms (Garden City, N.Y.: Dou- 
bleday & Company, Inc., 1969). 

(6) Black's Law Pi c t i onar y , 5th ed., defines 
"hue and cry" as follows, "in old English law, a 
loud outcry with which felons (such as robbers, 
burglars, and murderers) were anciently pursued, and 
which all who heard it were bound to take up, and 
join in the pursuit, until the malefactor was 
taken." Pavid R. Johnson, Pol icing the Urban Under- 
world : The Impact of Crime on the Pevel opment of the 
American Police, 1800-1887 (Philadelphia: Temple 
University Press, 1979), 7-8. Enforcing local ordi- 
nances is described as, "they looked after the 
condition of streets, sidewalks, privies, slaughter- 
houses, and the miscellaneous activities which 
affected the health, safety, and well-being of the 
urban population." 


(7) Johnson, Policing the Urban Underworld . 7. 

(8) David Ward, Cities and Immigrants : A Geography 
of. Change in. Nineteenth-Century America New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1971), 3. 

(9) Augustine E. Costello, Our Police Protec- 
tors : A History of the New York Police (1885; re- 
print, Montclair, N.J.: Patterson Smith, 1972), vi- 
vii . 

(10) Johnson, Policing the Urban Underworld . 12. 

(11) Johnson, Pol icing the Urban Underworld , 3. 

(12) Johnson, Policing the Urban Underworld . 9. 

(13) Costello, Our Police Protectors , vii. It 
was not until 1845, however, that the common council 
actually ratified the enabling legislation for the 
Municipal Police Act which the legislature had 
passed in 1844. This act eliminated the marshals 
and night watch and replaced them with a round-the- 
clock force of 800 men. 

(14) Benjamin P. Eldridge and William B. Watts, 
Our Rival The Rascal (1897; reprint, Montclair, 
N.J.: Patterson Smith, 1973), 93-119. In this 
survey of nineteenth-century burglary techniques and 
history, the authors describe the modi s- operandi of 
the several classes of robbers who practice the 
"art" of robbery. The house-breaker or sneak thieves 
generally worked during daylight or early evening 
hours. Often, they were young boys who did not 
attempt complex jobs. They would ring the doorbell 
on some pretext and if they discovered the house 
unoccupied, they would break in to ransack drawers 
and closets looking for small objects such as jewel- 
ry, silver, clothing or money. The more sophisti- 
cated and dangerous "second story climber" gained 
access through the second floor of a house. Although 
their take was similar, these "climbers" usually 
worked in pairs and would have surveyed the premises 
in advance to be certain of routines and to verify 
value. "Far above all these house-breakers and 
sneak thieves, in his own esteem and in point of 
offense, is the night raider or professional burglar 
who makes the dwelling house his mark." Generally 
working as an armed pair - their approach is made in 
dead of night to a previously marked house. ( Our 
Rival . 102) 



(15) Johnson, Pol i cinq the Urban Underwor 1 d , 

(16) For a summary discussion of mechanical 
alarm systems see William Greer, A History o f Ala rm 
Security (Washington, D.C.: The National Burglar 
Alarm & Fire Alarm Association, 1979), 6-11. 

(17) Numerous sources recount the history and 
major developments in the understanding of electric- 
ity and magnetism. For example see Frank L. Pope, 
Modern Practice o f the Electric Telegraph: A Hand- 
book for Electricians and Ope rat or s (New York: 
Russell Brothers, 18 6 9); Park Benjamin, The Age of 
Electricity: From Amber-Soul to Tel ephone (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888) or Herbert W. Meyer, 
A History of Electricity and Magnet i sm (Cambridge: 
The MIT Press, 1971) . 

(18) Pope, Modern Practice of the El ectric Tel egraph , 
9-12. Although the term battery is commonly applied 
to the single unit, or cell, containing the generat- 
ing materials, the proper usage of the term is to 
refer to a number of cells connected together. 

(19) Polarization, 
of hydrogen gas bubbles 
plate causing the surface 

refers to the accumulation 

on the positive (or copper) 

of this plate to become 

coated with a deposit of 
toward converting the 
both plates are of zinc, 
weakening and finally a 
tro-motive force. 

zinc. This process, tends 

battery into one in which 

This causes a perceptible 

cessation of a cells elec- 

netism , 34- 

Meyer , 

History of Electricity and Mag 

(21) Benjamin, The Age of Electricity , 79-82. 

(22) For a discussion of early fire alarm devel- 
opments see, Greer, A History o f Ala rm Security , 
13; William F. Channing, The Muni ci pa 1 Electric 
Tel egraph ; Especially i n its App lication t o Fire 
Al arms (New Haven: B.L. Hamlen, 1852); or William 
Werner, History o f the Boston Fire Depa r tment and 
Fire Ala rm S y s t em : January 1 , 1859 t hr ough Decembe r 
3 1 , 197 3 (Boston: The Boston Sparks Association, 
1974) . 

( 23 ) Boston 
June 1845. 

Dai 1 y Advertiser , 30 May 1845 and 


(24) Channing, The Municipal El ect r i c Tele- 
graph , 5-9. The system, which Boston actually put 
into operation in 1852, had, in the years since 
first proposed been substantially improved. Al- 
though not perfect it was far superior to any previ- 
ous method. The Fire Alarm Telegraph was introduced 
into Philadelphia in 1855 and into St. Louis in 

(25) Although no other patents are directly 
attributed to Edwin Holmes does not mean that he did 
not control other technology. Patents were assigned 
or sold on a regular basis. It is assumed that this 
is how Holmes received his rights to other improve- 
ments in his system. Only when the assignment took 
place at the time of patent application would the 
new owner's name be registered in the index along 
with the name of the inventor. Otherwise, the only 
way to establish transfer of ownership is to use the 
Pat en t Ass i gnment Digest (National Archives, Wash- 
ington, D.C.). First, it is necessary to select the 
patents to be checked in the assignment digest. Few 
patent titles indicate whether they are for electri- 
cally or mechanically based systems. Therefore, The 
Index of Patents Relating to Electricity Prior to 
18 81 is an essential tool. Patents which fell into 
the most promising electrical subclasses [burglar 
alarms, annunciators; bells; circuit closer; clocks 
and meters] were compared with those 
the subject matter index as being 
related. When a patent appeared on 
became a candidate for examination in 
digest. For this study, a list of 
three hundred patents was generated, 
digest is indexed only by assignor 

identified in 

burglar ala rm 

both lists it 

the assignment 

app r ox ima t e 1 y 

Because the 

checking these 

patents for an assignment is a lengthy process. 
First, the index to the assignment digest is con- 
sulted to determine volume and page number within 
the digest where a patentee with a given name is 
registered. Of course, the more common the name, 
the greater the number of citations that will be 
produced - all of which must be checked to determine 
if they relate to the patent in question. The 
corresponding volume of the assignment digest is 
consulted to see to whom the patent was assigned and 
if it is in fact the patent in question. Unfortu- 
nately, this painstaking procedure failed to iden- 
tify additional Holmes controlled patents. This 
process, because of its complexity, is full of 
potential problems, an incorrect spelling anywhere 
in the process can result in a dead end. Even without er- 


rors or omissions in procedure, failure to register 
a patent assignment, and errors within the digest 
itself cannot be overcome. For example, it is cer- 
tain that Holmes received the Pope assignment, yet 
this transfer is not recorded in the assignment 
digest . 

(26) George Russell Jackson, History o f the 
Churches of Somervi lie with Portraits of the Pastors 
(Murray & Walsh, Publishers, 1882). "A Public Loss," 
[Augustus Russell Pope obituary], [Boston] Evening 
Transcript , Monday, 24, May 1858, Second Edition. 

(27) Affidavit of Lemuel Pope; U.S. Patent 
Extension Case File, Augustus Russell Pope, "Electro 
Magnetic Alarms" February 14, 1867; Records of the 
Patent Office, Record Group 241; National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. 

(28) U.S. Patent Application File No. 9,802, 
Augustus Russell Pope of Somerville, Massachusetts, 
21 June 1853; Records of the Patent Office, Record 
Group 241; National Archives, Suitland, MD . English 
patent No. 1,795 was issued August 1, 1853 for the 
same device. (Appendix C) 

(29) Moses Gerrish Farmer was issued patent 
No. 8,920, for an "Improvement in E 1 ec t r o -Magne t i c 
Alarm-Bells" on May 4, 1852. (Appendix D) 

(30) Paul B. Israel, "From the Machine Shop to 
the Industrial Laboratory: Telegraphy and the Chang- 
ing Context of American Invention, 1830-1920" (Ph.D. 
diss. , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 
1989), 114. Boston remained in this prominent 
position until after the Civil War, when New York 
and Philadelphia began to hold important places. 

(31) Robert V. Bruce, Al exander Graham Bell 
and the Conquest of Soli tude (Boston: Little, Brown 
& Company, 1973) , 92. 

(32) Affidavit of Moses Farmer; U.S. Patent 
Extension Case Files, Augustus Russell Pope, "Elec- 
tro Magnetic Alarms" February 14, 1867; Records of 
the Patent Office, Record Group 241; National Ar- 
chives, Washington, D.C. 

(33) Moses Gerrish Farmer was born in New Hampshire 
and educated at the Andover, Massachusetts preparatory 
school. He attended, but due to ill health, did not com- 


plete his studies at Dartmouth College. Farmer 
devised a machine to print paper window shades and 
thus began his career as an inventor. In 1845 he 
became interested in electricity. After learning 
telegraphy he became an operator and later took 
charge and was responsible for opening offices on 
the line between Boston and Newburyport . During this 
period his electrical experimentation continued at 
home. In 1848 he invented the electrical striking 
apparatus for the fire-alarm service which he de- 
veloped with Dr. William F. Channing. In 1853 he 
resumed work on other electrical ideas. His later 
accomplishments included in 1855, discovery of a 
means of duplex and quadraplex telegraphy; in 1856 
he started an e 1 ec t r o t y pi ng business after succeed- 
ing in depositing aluminum e 1 ec t r o 1 y t i ca 1 1 y . In 
1858-59 he invented an incandescent electric lamp. 
Farmer was years ahead of his contemporaries in many 
applications of electrical current. Although his 
electrical patents rivaled Edison's his fame and 
profit did not. This is attributed to his tendency 
to continually plunge into unknown territory rather 
than to perfect a marketable invention. 

(34) Affidavit of Charles Williams; U.S. Patent 
Extension Case Files, Augustus Russell Pope, "Elec- 
tro Magnetic Alarms" February 14, 1867; Records of 
the Patent Office, Record Group 241; National 
Archives, Washington, D.C. 

(35) Bruce, Al exander Graham Bell , 92. This 
was the same shop where the Channing and Farmer fire 
alarm apparatus was constructed and this same shop 
later went on to employ Thomas A. Watson. 

(36) U.S. Patent No. 9,802 to Augustus Russell 
Pope of Somerville, Massachusetts, for "Improvement 
in Electro-Magnetic Alarms," June 21, 1853. 

(37) U.S. Patent No. 9,802 to Augustus Russell 
Pope . 

(38) Affidavit of Lucy Pope; U.S. Patent Extension Case 
Files, Augustus Russell Pope, "Electro Magnetic 
Alarms" February 14, 1867; Records of the Patent 
Office, Record Group 241; National Archives, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 

(39) Edwin T. Holmes, A Wonderfu l Fifty Years New 
York: Privately Published, 1917), 11. The Boston paper Eve- 


ni nq T r ans c r i p t reported (Monday evening May 24, 
1858) the death of Augustus Pope as follows: "[he] 
has been prostrated for the past three weeks. . .the 
greater part of his illness was accompanied by 
delirium." An unsigned handwritten note in his 
Harvard alumni file states "Augustus Russell Pope 
died of typhoid fever at Somerville, Mass. at 5 
o'clock A.M. May 24, 1858, or rather it was an 
affection of the brain, overtasked by work, and 
moreover embarrassed by pecuniary reverses, his 
family having a tendency to insanity." 

(40) May 6, 1858 Letter of Application for 
patent reissue; U.S. Patent Application File No. 
9,802, Augustus Russell Pope of Somerville, Massa- 
chusetts, 21 June 1853; Records of the Patent Of- 
fice, Record Group 241; National Archives, Suit- 
land, MD. 

(41) Greer, A History of Alarm Security , 25. 

(42) Edwin T. Holmes in A Wonder f ul Fifty 
Years , 7 reports his father's 1858 move to New York 
while his family stayed in Boston until 1859, when 
they also relocated. Holmes, A_ Wonderful Fifty 
Years , 17 . ■^ 

(43) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 14. 

(44) Edwin Holmes, A Treatise Upon the Best 
Method o f Protecting Property f r om Burglars , and 
Human Life f r om Mi dni ght Assassins (New York: Brook- 
lyn Daily Times, Print, [1861]), 5. 

(45) This pamphlet does not have a publication 
date; however, each of the letters from clients is 
dated. The latest letter is of March 7, 1861, it is 
therefore assumed publication would have been short- 
ly after this date. 

(46) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 25. The 
Your Attention pamphlet is also undated however, the 
date of the latest testimonial is September 11, 

(47) These addresses are reported in, Edwin 
Holmes, Your Attention i s Respectful 1 y Requested t o 
the Fo 1 lowing Test imoni a 1 s , (New York: H.C. Stooth- 
off, [1868]), 52. Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 44, re- 
ports, "in 1869 my father sent me to Boston, and 
T.E. Cornish who had been in his employ for some years, to 


Philadelphia, to establish our Burglar Alarm and 
Electrical Business." A search of Philadelphia city 
directories shows the following listings for T.E. 


no listing; 


no listing; 









































agent, 1111 Chestnut; 
agent, 1111 Chestnut; 
burglar alarms, 1111 Chestnut; 
tel . instrmnts, 1111 Chestnut; 
burglar alarms, 1111 Chestnut; 
burglar alarms, 1111 Chestnut; 
electrician, 1111 Chestnut; 
electrician, 1111 Chestnut; 
manager, 1111 Chestnut; 
manager 57 S. 4th. 

(48) No patent for this device has been uncov- 
ered. Only one testimonial specifically mentions the 
existence of an annunciator. Therefore annunciators 
were available, although probably not very wide- 
spread by March 1861. 

Mr. Holmes, 

Dear Sir: - I know not 
certainty of action of 
promptness with which it g 

An opportunity was of 
since of testing both the 
one morning before daybrea 
ly aroused by the bell rin 
ining the indicator, I di 
thing wrong in the basemen 
er, surely enough, I fo 
opened. I could find no o 
visitor, and whether he wa 
noisy monitor above the s 
the silent monitor within 
it upon myself to decide, 
that ever since the occurr 
appreciated your useful in 

New York, March 16, 1861 

which most to admire, the 
your instrument, or the 
ives the alarm, 
fered us several weeks 
se qualities. Very early 
k, my family were sudden- 
ging an alarm. On exam- 
scovered there was some- 
t, and proceeding thith- 
und a window had been 
ther traces of my morning 
s frightened away by the 
tairs, or restrained by 
himself, I will not take 
But one thing I know, 
ence, my family have duly 
vention . 

Respectfully yours, 

Edward H. Ladd 

500 Broadway 


(49) Western Electric Manufacturing Co., Price 
List o f Western Electric Manufacturing Co . , I nc 1 ud- 
inq Electric Bells and Annunci a t or s Suited for Calls 
in Hotels and Residences , and Burglar Al arms , and 
the El ectro-Mercurial Fire Ala rm (Chicago: Western 
Electric Manufacturing Co., 1877), 6. 

(50) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 43. 

(51) Amedee Guillemin, Electricity and Magnet - 
i sm ed . Silvanus P. Thompson (London: Macmillian and 
Co., 1891), 676. 

(52) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 17. 
Holmes took the bare wire to a factory where steel 
wire for hoop skirts was braided with cotton and 
here had his copper wire covered in a similar fash- 
ion. In 1870, Eugene Phillips of Providence began 
making insulated wire for electrical purposes and 
Holmes ceased to produce his own supplies. 

(53) Holmes, Your Attention , 53. 

(54) Edgar W. Martin, The S t anda r d o f Living i n 
18 6 ; Ame r i can Consump t ion Levels on the Eve o f the 
Civil War , (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 
[1942]), 101. 


(55) U.S. Patent No. 9,802 to Augustus Russell 

(56) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 17. 

(57) F.C. Allsop, Practi ca 1 Electric Bel 1 Fit- 
ting: A Treatise on the Fi 1 1 i ng - up and Mai ntenance 
o f Electric Bells and all the Necessary Apparatus 
(London: E. & F.N. Spon: 1890), 20-21. 

(58) Holmes, Your Attention , 53. Holmes indicates 
that he sells "a superior article of Blue Vitriol, 
prepared especially for this battery," Your Attention , 
63. Blue vitriol refers to copper sulfate which is blue 
in color, and was used in the gravity, crowfoot, or 
bluestone batteries. 

(59) Holmes, Your Attention , 53. 

(60) Holmes, A Treatise , 56. 


(61) The 1861 booklet mentions two variations in the 
application and usage of the system. First, "as a means of 
communicating to a stable or other outbuilding, it 
is superior to any and all other means used. ' The 
simple touch of a small spring, arranged in your 
sitting-room, or any, or several parts of the house, 
rings the bell at the stable." (Holmes, A Treatise , 
35) "Every door and window of the stable without 
regard to distance, can be, and is often connected 
with this same Bell in the sleeping room. Any 
person wishing some means to communicate with the 
coachman at the stable, cannot find a better or more 
economical method." (Holmes, A Treatise , 47). 

(62) U.S. Patent No. 63,158 to Edwin Holmes of 
New York, NY, for "Improvement in Electric Circuit- 
Breaking Clocks," March 26, 1867. 

(63) Holmes, Your Attention , 53. 

(64) Holmes, Your Attention , 53. 

(65) Holmes, A Treatise , 49. 

(66) Henry Hudson Holly, Country Seats and Modern 
Dwel 1 inqs (1878; reprint, Watkins Glen, NY: Library of 
Victorian Culture, 1977), 102. 

(67) In the patent Whiting states, "I am aware 
that an apparatus has been employed as a burglar- 
alarm in which a single electric circuit was em- 
ployed in connection with the windows and doors of a 
building, and so arranged that the opening of any 
one of them should close the circuit and sound an 
alarm. Such apparatus, however, furnished no indi- 
cation of the whereabouts of the window or door so 
opened, and the proprietor was left to search 
through the whole house for the intruder, who was 
himself perhaps alarmed and enabled to escape. My 
invention had for its object to produce a house- 
alarm which shall not only alarm the proprietor or 
guardian of the house on the intrusion of a burglar, 
but shall at the same time indicate to him the part 
of the house attacked, that his attention may be 
immediately directed to the particular room where an 
entry has been attempted or effected; and this I 
accomplish by the employment of a series of electro- 
magnetic circuits (one for each distinct room or 
portion of the house to be guarded) in connection 
with an indicator for indicating the portion of the 
house attacked." Whiting goes on to describe a drop annun- 


ciator where a small shield covers a letter assigned 
to a particular room, when the alarm is sounded the 
armature is thrown back by its spring and the letter 
indicating the room is exposed to view. 

(68) Western Electric Manufacturing Co., Price 
List of Western El ectric , 6 . 

(69) Western Electric Manufacturing Co., Price 
List of Western Electric , 57-58. 

(70) C.J. Wharton, Domestic Electricity for Amateurs 
(London: E. & R.N. Spon, 1889), 27. 

(71) F.B. Badt, Bel 1 Hangers ' Hand-Book (Chica- 
go: Electrician Publishing Company, 1889), 91-92. 

(72) Western Electric Manufacturing Co., Price 
List of Western El ectric , 10 . 

(73) Although patents are valuable as histori- 
cal records they do have limitations. They provide 
no evidence about what was actually produced or 
manufactured, or e/en if a device was commercially 
produced at all. 

(74) George E. Cock and J.H. Guest, "Office of 
the E 1 ec t r o -Magnet i c Fire and Burglar Alarm Tele- 
graph" circular, 1872. Warsaw Collection of Business 
Americana, Crime Box, Archives Center, National 
Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. 

(75) The suggestion of competition comes from 
Holmes in 1868, when he announces: "All infringe- 
ments upon this patent either by using or vending 
will be dealt with to the full extent of the law for 
such cases provided." (Holmes, Your A 1 1 ent ion , end 
sheet . ) 

(76) Trow's New York directory for 1870 has no 
listing for Cock; Guest's occupation is listed as 
Patents, 229 Broadway. The 1871 directory still 
lists Guest at 229 B'way but with his occupation 
listed as Alarms. Cock appears with an occupation 
listed as Treasurer although he shows a business 
address of 9 Murray. 

(77) Holmes, A Treatise , 46. 


(78) Fred M. Gibson, "Electric Protection Serv- 
ices: A Study of the Development of the Services 
Rendered by the American District Telegraph Company" 
(New York: ADT , Research and Development Division, 
1962), 12. 

(79) In 1866, S.S. Laws invented an instrument 
for reporting fluctuations in the gold market. Next, 
in 1867 E.A. Callahan perfected a device to transmit 
stock market quotations. 

(80) "The American District Telegraph Company," The 
Telegrapher 11 (October 9, 1875). ADTs 1878 prospec- 
tus reports that the business grew and "on January 
1, 1878, it connected 4,500 dwellings and stores and 
had a staff of 600 expert messengers and 50 private 
policemen. It has 21 central stations and 42 manag- 

(81) By 1887 there were about twenty companies offer- 
ing district messenger services. Most employed 
"District Telegraph" as part of their corporate name 
and some used the name American District Telegraph 
Company of the City and State in which they choose 
to operate. ^ 

(82) U.S. Patent No. 110,362 to Edwin Holmes 
of New York, NY, and Henry C. Roome of Jersey City, 
New Jersey, for an "Improvement in Electro-magnetic 
Envelopes for Safes, Vaults & c.", December 20, 

( 83 ) U.S. Patent 
and Henry C. Roome. 


110,362 to Edwin Holmes 

(84) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 37. 

(85) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 36-37. 

(86) Reissue 8,949 October 28, 1879 
Patent 110,362 to Edwin Holmes and Henry C. Roome. 

of U.S. 

( 87 ) Holmes , 

Wonderful Fifty Years , 


Gibson, "Electric Protection Services", 17. 

(88) Holmes, A Wonderful Fifty Years , 42. 

(89) "The American District Telegraph Company", 
The Telegrapher 11 (October 9, 1875). 


(90) These seven houses were brought to the 
attention of the author through different means. 
Lockwood-Mathews , where the author volunteered for a 
number of years, was the catalyst for this entire 
undertaking. Responses from a query published in 
the APT Communi que identified several houses: Ar- 
mour-Stiner Octagon, Maish, and Wilderstein. Jean 
Wolf, a fellow student and co-worker came across 
Beechwood and the Bowne house. And, finally the 
Fraser house was located as a result of the 1868 
pamphlet listing. 

(91) Norwa 1 k Gazette , October 12, 1869 quoting 
from the New York Sun October 2, 1869. 

(92) Norwalk Gazette , October 12, 1869. 

(93) Charles M. Selleck, Norwalk (Norwalk, CT : 
1895), 214. The first purchase was made on November 
24, 1863 with additional purchases being made into 
the next spring. 

(94) For a more detailed discussion of the 
life of LeGrand Lockwood and the house he built see, 
Mimi Findlay and Doris E. Friend, eds . , The L ock - 
wood-Mat hews Mans i on Mus eum , 2nd ed . (Norwalk, CT : 
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum of Norwalk, 
Inc., 1981). 

(95) "For Sale: Mr. LeGrand Lockwood's Mansion 
in Norwalk, Connecticut" advertisement in an uniden- 
tified New York paper. March 1873. Lienau Memorabil- 
ia, 18. Avery Library, Columbia University. 

(96) "Elm Park - South Norwalk, Conn., Situa- 
tion - Grounds, & C." [photocopy], Lockwood-Mathews 
Mansion Museum Archives, Norwalk, Connecticut. 

(97) Findlay and Friend, The Lockwood-Mathews 
Mansion Museum , 11. 

(98) Holmes, Your Attenti on , 47. The listing 
reads, "LeGrand Lockwood... 94 Broadway." At the 
beginning of this section Holmes advises "as far as 
possible the business address is given." 

(99) The appearance of the bell presently in 
place is quite different from the bells depicted in 
the Holmes circulars. (Figure 9, pg . 31) Embossed on 
the underside of the bell is the name of the manu- 
facturer: Stanley & Patterson of New York, NY. 


According to Holmes (Jr.) the electrical bell used 
in the system was originally made by Charles Wil- 
liams. In 1876 Holmes opened a machine shop for the 
exclusive manufacture of all Holmes's electrical 
instruments and appliances. Therefore, in order for 
this bell to be original, or nearly original, Stan- 
ley and Patterson of New York City would need to 

(100) Findlay and Friend, The Lockwood-Mathews 
Mansion , 37 . 

(101) Findlay and Friend, The Lockwood-Mathews 
Mansion , 35 . 

(102) Florence Mathews, "The Ancestry of Mr. 
Charles T. Mathews" [transcribed copy]. Lockwood- 
Mathews Mansion Museum Archives, Norwalk, CT . The 
full diary excerpt reads as follows, "an incident 
that second summer was interesting as we had a most 
unpleasant experience of a robbery. We had a number 
of people in the house and were playing bowls down- 
stairs. A fierce and noisy storm raged outside. My 
school friend, Dora Merrell, was visiting me, and as 
I wanted her to be very comfortable I gave up my 
room and dumped all my jewelry into a bureau drawer 
on the opposite side of the house. As I stepped 
from my door for dinner, I saw Dora was simply 
gowned in black. I had on a light blue dress and a 
very valuable medallion of diamonds, turquoise and 
pearls, a gift of Father's, and a necklace of tur- 
quoise to represent forget-me-nots given by Mother. 
Realizing the bad taste of outshining one's guests, 
I stepped back, took them off, and threw them into 
the drawer. While we were bowling Father went to 
his room and hearing someone try to open the con- 
necting door between his bathroom and the Oriental 
room, he called out "That door is locked, go around 
the other way." The burglar delighted at such information 


turned and rushed into the side of the house where I 
had moved next to Lillie. Just as I was saying 
goodnight to Dora in her room Lilly came and asked 
for a candle. Instantly I felt something was wrong 
and asked twice before she answered "Someone has 
entered the house and taken everything from my top 
drawer and Will wants to go thru the rooms to see if 
he is in hiding." "Oh!" I said, "all my jewelry is 
there." I flew over to find everything gone. I was 
deeply ashamed for Father had told me to lock up all 
valuable things as this house was like a "Light set 
on a Hill" close to the Post Road between New York 
and Boston. I had always intended to do so but alas! 

(103) Gordon William Fulton, "The Bowne House, 
Flushing, New York: A Historic Structure Report" 
(Master's thesis, Columbia University, 1981), 19-29. 

(104) "The Bowne House, Flushing, New York", 
page reported that prior to 1860, the house was 
equipped with "modern innovations, being heated by a 
furnace and illuminated by gas." Because no "Par- 
sons" are listed on Holmes's 1861 subscriber lists 
it is assumed that an alarm system, while available, 
was not among the added innovations. 

(105) Fulton, "The Bowne House," 168. 

(106) The rooms on the second floor are the 
residence of the caretaker, as well as staff office 
space. Therefore there was limited access to the 
floor area due to placement of furniture and floor 
coverings. Visual inspection indicated at least 
limited presence of floor wires on this floor. 

(107) Holmes, A Treatise , 40. 

(108) Since my first visit in 1990, work has 
been done to replace some of the floorboards. An 
attempt has been made to replicate the original 
wiring patterns. 

(109) Betty Halle, Riverton Town Historian, 
"Research Notes 101 Main St., Riverton, New Jersey." 
[photocopy ] . 

(110) The Newport city directories from 1858 
until 1878/9 indicate the primary place of residence 
was New York. 


(111) Joseph Pell Lombardi, "The Octagon House, 
1858 - 1975" (New York: The Office of Joseph Pell 
Lombardi & Assoc, [1979]). 

(112) Lombardi, "The Octagon House, 1858-1975," 
reports, "inscriptions on interior hardware and 
painter graffiti under the porch indicate that 
rebuilding occurred immediately after Stiner's 
purchase in 1872." 

(113) "George H. Maish," The United States 
Biographical Dictionary Des Moines, 777 - 778. 

(114) David Maish Liddle, "Statement of Decem- 
ber 12, 1973" Ralph Gross correspondence. [Photo- 
copy] . 

(115) Ralph Gross correspondence. 

(116) Cynthia Owen Philip, "Wilderstein: The 
Creation of a Hudson River Villa, 1852 - 1892," The 
Hudson Valley Regional Review 7 (Sept. 1990): 6. 

(117) Philip, "Wilderstein," The Hudson Valley 
Regional Review , 20 . 

(118) Philip, "Wilderstein," The Hudson Valley 
Regional Review , 33. 

(119) In January 1891 the dynamo/ turbi ne at 
Wilderstein was completed and the electric lights 
were turned on for the first time-- quite a feat in 
this rural setting when one considers New York 
City's Pearl Street Station had come on line just 
nine years earlier. 

(120) Popular Science Monthl y , 1881, 57. 

(121) Holmes, Your Attention , 14. In his July 
2, 1866, testimonial, P.T. Barnum states, "I have 
had Holmes' Burglar Alarm Telegraph in my house 
three years." 

(122) P.T. Barnum, St r ugg 1 es and Triumphs 
(Buffalo: Warren & Johnson & Co., 1872), 616. 



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Anne & Jerome Fisher 

University of Pennsylvania 

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